South Africa vs India 2018: Why Rahane should remain No. 4 until the 2019 World Cup
Given that the 2019 World Cup will be played in the challenging conditions of England, it is only ideal that India stick with Rahane at no 4
The No. 4 spot is one of the most crucial positions in the batting order. For starters, it requires someone who can anchor the innings if a couple of wickets go down early. Secondly, if the openers get off to a good start, explosive abilities are needed to capitalise on the foundation that has been laid.
What India are looking for in their No 4 is a combination of the two. However, of late, too many players have been tried and discarded without giving them an extended run. Virat has finally budged from his stand that Ajinkya Rahane is the 'third opener' and the Mumbaikar, for his part, has not disappointed.
Now that Rahane has delivered the goods in the 1st ODI against South Africa, it is only ideal that India stick with him.
Here are 5 reasons which support the argument that Ajinkya Rahane should be India's permanent no 4 in ODIs till the 2019 World Cup.
Running between wickets
In the middle overs, with the field spread wide and four men patrolling the ropes, it is not easy to score a boundary that often. This is where the running between wickets becomes so essential. This, coupled with an odd boundary, keeps the run rate ticking. It is only after five overs or so that you realize that 25-30 runs have already been added to the scoreboard without any risk being taken.
A champion exhibition of the same was on display during the 189-run partnership between Kohli and Rahane in Durban. Interestingly, there were occasions when Rahane was pushing Virat for an extra run. This transferred momentum back in favour of India after they lost two early wickets.