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Has India Found the Right Batsman in the Number Four Position?

| 3 months ago

Ever Since the Vice-Captain of India’s Test Cricket team, Ajinkya Rahane was dropped from one-day Internationals, it has been a task to seek a suitable batsman to fill his shoes, the one who has the ability to save the ship from sinking or be the aggressor when required. There is no denying the fact that in the last 2-3 years, the major portion of the runs scored had come from the top 3 positions which are being dominated by Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli since long.

However, it ’s the number four, five, and six positions which haven’t been able to stand out and perform consistently. India has lately been experimenting a lot in the batting order in order to find the ideal number four batsman and six batsmen keeping in mind the most important assignment – the World Cup 2019.

Players such as KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Shreyas Iyer, and Kedar Jadhav have all been given chances. However, none of them was able to showcase a consistent run, eventually seeing themselves sitting on the bench.  Though, Dinesh Kartik did score runs prior to the series against West Indies, his inability to convert the 30s and 40s into big scores found him out of the squad.

Much to everyone’s expectations, team India gave Ambati Rayudu the opportunity that the 33-year old was looking for in the West Indies series. Previously, dropped from the side due to the failure in the YO-YO test, Rayudu did nothing wrong this time. The 33-year old batsman made full use of the opportunity, amassing 195 runs in three innings.

In the second ODI, Ambati Rayudu stitched a wonderful partnership of 139 runs with Virat Kohli, while the former was involved in a partnership with Rohit Sharma of 211 runs.  Ambati Rayudu scored his third one-day international century in the fourth innings, and certainly his 100 off 81 balls has helped him seal the fourth position in the Indian batting line up for the World Cup. 

Earlier in the interview post, the fourth ODI against West Indies Vice-Captain Rohit Sharma was also full of praise for Ambati Rayudu. Rohit has perhaps confirmed India’s new number four batsman in the Indian one-day international batting line up.

“Hopefully, nobody will ask about the No.4 position till the World Cup now and hopefully he has solved all the mysteries about No.4,” he said

 “He responded well to pressure. He built a partnership with me at first and after getting to 50, he started playing shots. We know Rayudu for a long time now and we know he can produce innings like the one he played today.” Rohit added.

With Rayudu’s good run in the series and Kedar back into the side, the skipper Virat has certainly ticked some of the boxes.