Even though Team India is doing wonders in ODI cricket lately, the hunt for a solid No. 4 batsman still continues. Since the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, the team management has tried out as many as six batsmen in that vital batting position.
The likes of Yuvraj Singh, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya have been given opportunities to seal the key batting slot. Most of them have had their fair share of good moments at No. 4, but none of them really managed to make the crucial batting position his own.
After seeing the musical chairs of No.4 position, veteran India opener Gautam Gambhir has come up with a unique solution. Gambhir believes Ravichandran Ashwin can play as a second down batsman while he can also be exploited as a proper 6th bowling option for the Men in Blue.
“I’ll probably back Ashwin to play and Hardik to bat at six if given that responsibility. Ashwin can bat at seven or four as well. KL Rahul can bat at five and Dhoni at six and maybe Hardik at seven as well. You’ve got three quality spinners for that matter. You’ve got Ashwin, Kuldeep, and Chahal as well. Maybe Ashwin or Jadeja can be given the responsibility to bat at four,” Gambhir opined while talking on Cricbuzz Live.
“Someone batting at four will be an accumulator as well. He’s not someone who’ll give you a 60-ball or a 70-ball hundred. Even if he chips in with 30 to 40 runs at run-a-ball then you’ve got the firepower with Hardik, Rahul, and MS Dhoni to come as the finisher as well. It gives you a sixth bowling option and you’ve got a proper quality attack,” he further added.
Here’s the video:
During the recently concluded T20I series against England, captain Virat Kohli opted to bat at No. 4 and pushed KL Rahul at three where the latter scored a century in the opening game at Old Trafford. However, in the ongoing ODI series against England, Kohli has gone back to his preferred No.3 slot with Rahul coming in at 4.
With less than 12 months to go for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in the UK, Team India will certainly have to fix their No.4 woe.