4 Contenders for the number four spot in the Indian ODI team
Team India has been on a role in ODI cricket of late. After thrashing the Australians in their den by a margin of 2-1 in the ODI series, the Indian team has dominated a strong New Zealand team in their backyard, having comprehensively beaten the hosts in the first two ODIs.
The 2019 World Cup is around the corner and India are definitely one of the favourites to win the title. While most of the players have secured their ticket for the mega event, there is one weakness which the team needs to address before the World Cup i.e. the number 4 position in the batting line up.
The number 4 position is of utmost importance in ODI cricket. The number 4 batsman needs to play the role of an accumulator if a couple of early wickets are lost in the first 10 overs and at times the role of the aggressor in the last 10 overs of the innings.
Since the last couple of years, India have been struggling to find a batsman who can fit into the number 4 slot. Here's a look at 5 options available for India for the 2019 World Cup:
#1 MS Dhoni
The most experienced player in the current ODI team is MS Dhoni. The keeper-batsman who has scored 10414 runs in 285 ODI innings at an average of 51.05 and a strike rate of 87.33, can be a solution for the number 4 batting woes for team India.
The former skipper has played 30 innings at number 4 and has scored 1358 runs at an impressive average of 56.58 and a strike rate of 92.82. Thus his average and strike rate at number 4 is higher than his career stats.
Dhoni likes to take his time to build an innings and once he gets going, he can score runs at a canter. In the recently concluded ODI series against Australia, Dhoni regained his batting touch and scored 193 runs in 3 innings at an average of 193. His innings of 87, batting at number 4 in the third ODI was vital for the team's success.
Dhoni can be the perfect number 4 for team India in the World Cup and his experience of playing in England and his fourth World Cup overall will be crucial for the team's success.
A top 4 comprising of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and M.S. Dhoni is an exciting prospect!