India skipper Rohit Sharma admitted to a key issue for the team ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 at home in October-November.
With less than two months to go for the Cricket World Cup, Rohit Sharma admitted that India have unresolved issues with the No.4 spot in ODIs.
The skipper expressed concerns over the key position, stating that “after Yuvi [Yuvraj Singh], nobody has come and settled themselves in”. The position was a hot topic for debate ahead of the last fifty-overs World Cup in England as well.
“Look, No. 4 has been an issue for us for a long time,” Rohit told reporters on the sidelines of a La Liga event in Mumbai, while going on to state that Shreyas Iyer has good numbers at the position.
“For a long period of time, Shreyas (Iyer) has actually batted at No. 4 and he has done well — his numbers are really good.
“Unfortunately, injuries have given him a bit of trouble; he has been out for a while and that is honestly what has happened in the last 4-5 years. A lot of these guys have got injured and you will always see a new guy coming and playing there.
“The percentage of injuries that have happened in the last 4-5 years, it is massive. When the players get injured or are not available, you try doing different things with different players — that is what I have to say about No. 4,” he said.
India have played 11 players at the No.4 position in ODIs since the end of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, with only Iyer and Rishabh Pant batting over 10 times. However, Pant is ruled out of the World Cup while Iyer is yet to return after a back injury.
“There were so many guys who came in and went out. But injuries kept them away or they were not available or someone lost form,” the skipper said.
“Shreyas and KL are coming off not playing anything for four months, big injuries, surgeries rather. Both had surgeries. I know, I had to undergo surgery once and how it feels afterwards, it is quite tough. We have to see, how they respond, what they do.”
Rohit went on to state that no one is an automatic selection for the tournament, including himself, while also mentioning that the selection meeting will be conducted in a few days for the Asia Cup.
“We have got a lot of names there. We will see what is the right combination for us to go in the World Cup but before [that] we have the Asia Cup.”
He also hinted that there will be pressure on some of the players to perform at the Asia Cup with World Cup spots up for grabs.
“We will see, we want to win but at the same time there are a lot of questions that we need answers of. But in the Asia Cup, I want to see some of the guys batting under pressure against quality teams.
“I still want to see those things, so we will wait and see what happens, but it is always nice to have a lot of names, rather than just one or two names. I hope they are fit in time – firstly that is the most important.”