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India’s ODI Combination needs a Rejig and be persisted with keeping WC 2023 in focus

Since the start of 2019, India have used as many as 19 players in the batting positions from numbers 4 to 7 in ODIs.

India’s ODI Combination needs a Rejig and be persisted with keeping WC 2023 in focus, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer during a partnership in an ODI game
KL Rahul at 4 and Shreyas Iyer at 5 can give India better stability in ODIs (©GettyImages)

Even a week after India’s 3-0 whitewash in the hands of South Africa, the memories of the drubbing are still fresh in the minds of Team India’s fans. Besides other factors, India’s long-standing and yet-unresolved problem of a fragile middle-order has been one of the key reasons behind their failure. To be fair, this seems to be the Achilles heel for Team India that needs an immediate resolution.


Having too many options can be an issue

Sometimes, sticking with few options rather than going for several members for the same spot can assist a team in approaching games. During the ICC ODI World Cup 2019 in England, when there had been talks on how the batting sides would smash 400-500 run tallies, India seemed to be clueless with their numbers four and five.


The tournament for them was heavily shouldered on their top-order batters and when it mattered most in a low scoring chase during the semifinal against New Zealand, the middle-order found themselves under the scanner. “Did they plan for the semifinal?” former England captain Nasser Hussain questioned in a Cricbuzz program. “With a number of players, how they went into that World Cup not sure who their number 4 was going to be?” he queried.


People always think how can it so tough when a team has so many options; but actually, it is tough to recognize the right person for the particular job. “In New Zealand, for example, it is not 50 others, they stick with the ones they have got and they just become better,” Hussain pointed out how India have been using different batters at the behest of just one or two failures. It must be said that the selectors have to be crystal clear about one or two players for the position and provide them a long run before the next assignment.


Since the start of 2019, India have used as many as 19 players in the batting positions from numbers 4 to 7 in ODIs. Read More: Time to get better and transform our white-ball cricket, says KL Rahul


The overall figures of the players, who have played at least 10 innings at numbers 4 to 7 since the start of 2019

Player

Span

Mat

Inn

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100

50

S Iyer

2019-2022

19

18

657

103

38.64

100.00

1

6

MS Dhoni

2019-2019

18

16

600

87*

60.00

82.30

0

6

KL Rahul

2019-2021

12

12

591

112

65.66

107.65

2

4

R Pant

2019-2022

18

17

589

85

34.64

111.97

0

4

H Pandya

2019-2021

20

18

571

92*

38.06

115.82

0

3

K Jadhav

2019-2020

25

21

505

81*

42.08

92.15