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Home / Cricket / India vs West Indies: ‘I will be very very surprised’ - Ravi Shastri names player who can own number 4 slot

India vs West Indies: ‘I will be very very surprised’ - Ravi Shastri names player who can own number 4 slot

Ind vs WI: The focus is back on One Day Internationals and with it, the much-talked-about number 4 slot in India’s batting order is back under the scanner.

cricket Updated: Dec 16, 2019 08:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of Ravi Shastri
File image of Ravi Shastri(Getty Images)
         

The focus is back on One Day Internationals and with it, the much-talked-about number 4 slot in India’s batting order is back under the scanner. Right through the World Cup, India continued to fumble around for options and the selectors gave Shreyas Iyer the nod to make the position his own in the West Indies series which followed the marquee tournament.

Ahead of the first ODI in Chennai, Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has said that he believes Shreyas Iyer can be the answer and that, he has the pedigree to make the position his own in this format. “The way he is batting now if he doesn’t own that position, I will be very very surprised. He is 24-25 years but he has played so much first-class cricket. I think he has realised what he can do at No. 4. That’s the most important thing,” he told India Today.

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Iyer had a fine series versus West Indies, with back-to-back half-centuries. In 9 ODI matches so far, Iyer has scored 346 runs at an average of 49.42. He has 4 half-centuries to his name and this series could well be his chance to cement his spot in the side.

“There is a lot of competition currently going on in the team, and I personally feel that I compete with myself. I don’t want myself to be judged with anyone or when you say this position is empty in the team. I am really open-minded and I can bat at any number at a given point,” he said at the press conference after the match-winning effort during the West Indies tour. “So I just like to back myself in tough situations, and today’s innings I think really stated that I can bat under pressure as well. So, yeah, it was really important for me, and the team.”

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He also stressed that he wants to nail down this spot in the Indian team and that he wants to keep churning out the runs.

“It has been a really important last few series for me, to set the benchmark at the No. 4 position, which all of us are competing [for] at the moment,” he said. “I think, for me personally, they (team management) have given me a heads-up that, you know, ‘you’ll be there at No. 4, so just back yourself and really believe in yourself; we need someone who, even if [Virat] Kohli or Rohit [Sharma], when they get out, we need someone to finish the game and bat till the end’.