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Shreyas Iyer in red hot form: Has he cemented his spot at no. 4 for India?

CWC 2023: Shreyas Iyer has scored 526 runs from 10 games at an average of 75.14, will he continue to be India's number 4?

CWC 2023_ Shreyas Iyer has scored 526 runs in ODI World Cup 2023 _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©ICC_Twitter)
Iyer scored back-to-back hundreds in ODI World Cup 2023 (Photo: ©ICC/Twitter)

India has enjoyed an impressive run in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, securing a spot in the highly anticipated final against Australia after a commanding display of skill and teamwork. With an unbeaten streak of 10 consecutive victories, the hosts have not just won matches but have dominated their opponents comprehensively, showcasing a well-rounded team performance. Despite a few concerns along the way, India's campaign has been nearly flawless, setting the stage for an epic clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

One of the primary concerns was the form and fitness of Shreyas Iyer, returning from a significant back injury. The middle-order batsman, crucial for the No.4 slot, had limited game time before the World Cup and faced speculation about his inclusion in the squad. However, Iyer silenced doubters with a spectacular 90-ball 105 against Australia in the series just before the World Cup, affirming his return to form.

Shreyas Iyer’s run in the ODI World Cup 2023

In the opening match of the World Cup against Australia in Chennai, Iyer faced an early setback, falling for a 3-ball duck. While he had unbeaten scores against Afghanistan and Pakistan, the next few games proved challenging as he struggled to convert starts against Bangladesh, New Zealand, and England. One of the issues was his aggressive approach, attempting to hit every delivery out of the park, especially susceptible to bouncers and short balls.

Suggestions arose to drop Iyer from the playing XI and elevate someone like KL Rahul, known for handling both spin and pace effectively at the top. Despite these calls, Iyer found his rhythm through the mid-stages of the tournament. After a modest start with 134 runs in the first 6 games, he delivered outstanding performances in the remaining 4 matches, amassing 392 runs at an exceptional average of over 130 and striking close to 128.

Iyer's remarkable turnaround included a brilliant 56-ball 82 against Sri Lanka at Wankhede and a mature knock of 77 on a challenging Eden Gardens wicket against South Africa. His standout moment came in the final group stage game, where he smashed his career-best 128* off just 94 balls against the Netherlands in Bangalore. In the semi-final clash against New Zealand in Mumbai, Iyer displayed his prowess with a stunning 105, arguably his best ODI knock to date.

CWC 2023, India vs Netherlands_ Shreyas Iyer scored century (128 off 94) against Netherlands _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Iyer scored century (128 off 94) against Netherlands (Photo: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Is Shreyas Iyer India’s solution at No.4?

With a fearless approach, Iyer's ability to deal with sixes rather than ground shots makes him a potent No.4 batter. He has hit 13 maximums along with 14 fours in the last 2 innings, establishing himself as one of the most dangerous middle-order batters in ODIs. Despite the initial struggles and short-ball vulnerabilities, Iyer has firmly cemented his place as a long-term No.4 for Team India in ODIs, accumulating 526 runs in this World Cup at a staggering average of 75.14 and a strike rate of 113.12 in 10 innings. 

In the broader context, he stands as the third-highest run-scorer for India in this campaign and holds the record for the most runs by a middle-order batter from India in all World Cups. As India heads into the final against Australia, Shreyas Iyer's resilience and exceptional form add a crucial dimension to the team's quest for glory.


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