The stage is set for the ODI World Cup 2023 and the squad has been announced. Rohit Sharma will lead the Indian side and he will also open the batting alongside Shubman Gill. Virat Kohli will follow next at the number three. KL Rahul is set to bat at number five and he will be followed by the all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja.
While India’s batting unit is looking all set, there is still a debate around the number four. Shreyas Iyer has always been India’s preferred number-four batter and he has returned to India’s squad as well. Iyer played the Asia Cup game against Pakistan and looked good during his short stay at his crease. The right-handed batter scored 14 runs off 9 deliveries including two boundaries.
However, during the same game, India were reduced to 66-4 and Ishan Kishan played a brilliant knock of 82 runs off 81 deliveries against a quality Pakistan attack. The left-hander stitched a vital 138-run partnership with Hardik Pandya to bail India out of trouble.
Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer missed the next two games against Pakistan and Sri Lanka with a fresh niggle. At the same time, Ishan Kishan once again contributed vital 33 runs against Sri Lanka on a difficult wicket.
Now, there are voices to play Ishan Kishan at number four in place of Shreyas Iyer as he brings the left-handed factor in the middle order.
Who should play at number four for India in the ODI World Cup 2023?
Ishan Kishan has produced a couple of brilliant performances in the middle order during the Asia Cup 2023. Also, there is no doubt that he brings variety to the Indian batting unit as he is a left-handed batter. However, his weakness against the quality spin bowling was pretty evident during his knock against Sri Lanka.
Ishan Kishan is more comfortable at the top against the pace bowling. He still does not have the ability to milk out singles during the middle overs. Kishan either plays big shots or defends the ball. In the game against Sri Lanka, he survived and stitched a partnership with KL Rahul but instead of taking singles, he played too many dot balls.
A quality middle-order batter should know how to tackle spin well alongside milking out the singles. Shreyas Iyer is a brilliant batter against the spin and he also uses his feet well against the tweakers. Yes, he is a right-handed batter but he brings a lot of quality to the Indian batting unit. Furthermore, if India needs someone left-handed in the middle-order, they could promote Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja.
Ishan Kishan still needs to work a lot on his game against the spinners to be a quality middle-order batter. Hence, Shreyas Iyer should be India’s preferred choice at the number four.