Shreyas Iyer Mastery of the No. 4 Position: A Revelation in India’s ODI Cricket

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In the realm of One Day Internationals (ODIs), Shreyas Iyer has emerged as the beacon of consistency and brilliance, firmly securing his position as India’s undisputed No. 4 batsman. His recent spectacular century against Australia in the ODI series not only reaffirmed his claim to this pivotal batting position but also showcased his unrivaled skills and remarkable tenacity.

The year 2022 witnessed the meteoric rise of Shreyas Iyer as he blazed his way to 724 runs in men’s ODIs, a feat that made him the highest run-scorer among players from ICC Full Member nations. This staggering achievement came with an impressive average of 55.69 and a striking rate of 92. What sets this accomplishment apart is the fact that Iyer predominantly occupies a batting slot outside the top three. In this context, Shreyas Iyer’s performance is nothing short of extraordinary. To put it into perspective, only the illustrious AB de Villiers and Eoin Morgan have amassed more runs at the No. 4 position, and that too with a higher average and strike rate.

However, the journey to reclaim the coveted No. 4 spot was riddled with challenges for Shreyas Iyer. Injuries posed significant roadblocks, with a persistent lower-back issue sidelining him from pivotal matches. During his absence, the Indian team explored various alternatives, including the dynamic Suryakumar Yadav. While Yadav is a powerhouse in the T20I format, his performance in the ODIs raised pertinent questions.

Nevertheless, fate had a different script in store, and Shreyas Iyer made a triumphant return, alongside fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna. Iyer’s recovery was nothing short of remarkable, and he expressed his sheer delight at his rapid reentry into competitive cricket.

As he resumed his cricketing journey, Iyer confronted initial challenges in adapting to the rigors of match conditions. However, his undeniable talent soon took center stage as he embarked on a mission to reclaim the No. 4 spot. The series against Australia provided the perfect stage for Iyer to exhibit his form and fitness.

In the first ODI of the series, Iyer found himself at the crease with India requiring 140 runs from 172 balls, with the scoreboard reading 142-1. Unfortunately, his innings was cut short due to a run-out resulting from miscommunication with Shubman Gill. While this performance was a glimpse of his capabilities, it left lingering questions about his form.

The second ODI, however, was a testament to Shreyas Iyer’s brilliance. Walking in during the fourth over, he wasted no time in making an indelible impact. Iyer dispatched six boundaries off the first 16 deliveries he faced, adding five more fours and three towering sixes to his impressive tally. His innings was a harmonious blend of aggression and composure, culminating in a splendid century achieved in just 90 balls. This remarkable century not only solidified his position as India’s No. 4 but also underscored his mastery of the role.

While Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan showcased their prodigious talents impressively during the series, it became increasingly evident that Shreyas Iyer’s return had fortified India’s top five batting positions. Unless unforeseen circumstances intervene, the duo of Iyer and KL Rahul seems poised to anchor India’s middle-order with unflinching authority. For Kishan and Yadav, despite their immense potential and capabilities, patience may be their virtue as they await their opportunities to shine.

In summation, Shreyas Iyer’s remarkable journey back to form and fitness has not only secured his place in the Indian cricketing roster but has also bequeathed India with a dependable and prolific No. 4 batsman. As India prepares for future ODI battles, the presence of Shreyas Iyer at the No. 4 position stands as a testament to his unwavering determination and enduring excellence.

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