In the last 4 years, the team has tried the innumerable number of batsmen at that position, but not even a single lad has been able to cement his place. This has also very much weakened India’s middle order, which currently lacks stability. The team had to walk into the recently-concluded Cricket World Cup with the same middle order, which turned out to be really costly for the team.
The Men in Blue have eventually started to give long ropes to players after the World Cup catastrophe. Rishabh Pant has played at the much-talked No. 4 position, in all the five games India has been part of post the 50-over tournament. And as a result, the flamboyant wicketkeeper-batsman has also not disappointed the team management, as he struck a magnificent half-century in one of those games. The No. 5 position now seems to be assigned to Shreyas Iyer, who was also shown glimpses of glory in the previous one-day match.
However, the former Indian cricketer Gavaskar seems to disagree with this decision of the Indian team management. the former Indian skipper said, “In my view, Rishabh Pant is much better like an MS Dhoni at 5 for 6 as a finisher because that’s where his natural game and natural flair will come into play.”
“If India gets to a great start with Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma batting for 40-45 overs, then Pant at No. 4. But if it’s a question of batting for 30-35 overs, then I think it should be Shreyas Iyer at No. 4 and Pant at No. 5.”
Going further, Sunil Gavaskar talked about Iyer’s skill-set and the consistency he has shown, every time he has been given the opportunities. The Mumbai-born also questioned the team management for its inability to show faith on a certain player and failure to pick talented players like Shreyas Iyer.
“He [Shreyas Iyer] has grabbed his opportunity. He came at No. 5. He had plenty of overs. He had the company of his skipper, Virat Kohli. Nothing quite like it because the skipper takes the pressure off you. You learn from the best batsmen in the world. The best place to learn in cricket is the non-striker’s end. That’s what Shreyas Iyer was doing with Virat Kohli at the other end.”
“I think, if this doesn’t help him get a more permanent slot in the Indian middle-order, I don’t know what will. In the 5 matches, he played before this, he scored 2 fifties and hit the highest score of 88. He hadn’t done anything wrong to be left out of the 14 (15) (World Cup). But that’s in the past. Now he has come back and scored a 71 in his first opportunity. So I think he will get a longer run,” he concluded.