5 players India should try at No. 4 before World Cup 2019
Batting has always been India's strength in the limited overs game. As ODI cricket is transforming, power hitters are the need of the hour for every team. The Indian batting lineup, too, is packed with power hitters. India are playing some good cricket at the moment and they have identified the roles that individuals will play in the batting order .
India have given opportunities to many players recently and have come to a composition that suits their aggressive style of play. The top order looks solid and the lower middle order is as explosive as ever. However, the number four position still remains a concern for the team management.
Manish Pandey and KL Rahul have been tried at number four recently, but so far they have not been able to cement a permanent place at the position. They have been getting starts but have failed to capitalise on them.
Here, we look at some young players who have been performing consistently in domestic cricket and hence, deserve a chance to be tried at number four:
Karun Nair scores runs with utmost ease and his strokes are pleasing to the eye. His greatest ability is to find gaps in the field.
A batsman who bats at four is expected to have a good technique and the ability to rotate the strike well. Nair has an excellent technique. He is a rock solid player who would be perfect for a position like number four. He also rotates the strike quite well and is an accumulator of runs.
If trusted for the role, he can take the innings forward and capitalize on the momentum provided by the top order. If however, the top order fail to provide a good start than he has the game to rebuild an innings.
He has played 53 List A games so far and has 1453 runs to his name with a strike rate of 35.43.
Mandeep Singh is an exciting young player who plays for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy, and is rated as a high-caliber batsman by many cricketing pundits. He has a wide range of strokes and is particularly good against the short ball.
He has been scoring runs consistently in domestic cricket and has come a long way as a middle order batsman. He grabbed the eyeballs of many during the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2010 with his style of play. Since then, he has matured as a player and has become stronger mentally.
He has three List A centuries to his name but is yet to make his ODI debut for India. Given the exposure that he has had and the talent that he is, he should be given a chance to shine at number four for India.
Sanju Samson has been around for a long time now. He has experienced huge crowds in the IPL and has also played in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup. He made his debut for the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2013 when he was just 18 years of age.
He showed great promise throughout his first two seasons of the IPL and immense maturity.
For some reason, he has not been able to transform his promise into performances, and has only managed to play a solitary T20 international for India. But there is no denying the fact that he is an exceptional talent.
He plays some outrageous strokes with absolute ease and if he can find consistency and improve his shot selection, than he might turn out to be a good number four for India. His ability to keep wickets also works in his favour.
Shreyas Iyer has been in good form lately. The Mumbai batsman recently guided India A to a tri-series win against South Africa A with an unbeaten century. He is a dynamic young batsman who can dominate a bowling attack.
He has a staggering batting average of 54.33 in First-Class cricket, with a highest score of 202*. He also has two List A centuries to his name.
He is a prolific run scorer in domestic cricket and if he gets a chance to bat at number four for India, it would be interesting to see what impact he has on the game.
Iyer plays for the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL and is a strong pillar of their batting order. He had a good IPL 2017 in which he stroke the ball at a rate of 139. Given his recent exploits, he deserves to be given a chance to play at four for India.
Baba Aparajith plays for Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy. He is a technically sound batsman and has a calmness about his game. He is tailor-made for the number four position, as his game is a right blend of attack and defence. Whenever he gets in, he scores big runs.
He is a good prospect for the Indian Team and definitely deserves a chance to bat in the middle order as he has been consistent for a long time now in domestic circuit. He has a good cricketing brain and he reads the situations well.
He has scored 1713 List A runs at an average of over 40, slamming four centuries in the process. As the Indian batting line up is packed with explosive and power hitting players, he might turn out to be an ideal player for the number four position with his calmness and solidity.