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Injuries have worsened long-standing No.4 problem, laments Rohit Sharma

Last updated on 10 Aug 2023 | 04:15 PM
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Injuries have worsened long-standing No.4 problem, laments Rohit Sharma

There is no certainty whether Shreyas Iyer will be fit for Asia Cup or ICC World Cup, and Indian skipper Rohit Sharma is surely concerned about it

In the lead up to the 2019 World Cup, India had grappled with a lot of concerns related to the No.4 position and that uncertainty played a massive role in the Virat Kohli-led side crashing out of the mega event. Four years on, only Shreyas Iyer has provided some sort of calmness to the position, but an injury to the right-hander has further made it worse. There is no certainty whether Iyer will be fit for Asia Cup or worse, ICC World Cup, and Indian skipper Rohit Sharma is surely concerned about it.

“Look, No. 4 has been an issue for us for a long time. After Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh), nobody has come and settled themselves in. But, for a long period of time, Shreyas (Iyer) has actually batted at No. 4 and he has done well — his numbers are really good,” Rohit told reporters on the sidelines of a La Liga event.

“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,” he said.

Rohit further lamented that injuries have played a major role in India’s recent progress, which forced the management to try out different things. “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.

“Even before, when I was not the captain, I was watching no? 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,” Rohit added.

Despite being in the squad, the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli sat out of the XI for the West Indies series to offer more opportunities to the young players. Rohit stated that it was a chance for junior players to test themselves before the World Cup squad is finalized through the Asia Cup in September.

“No one is an automatic (selection), even I am not. We have this thing where nobody is guaranteed a spot. We cannot say that ‘you are thereafter all’ or things like that. Yes, some players know that they are going to play but at this point in time, playing three ODIs in the West Indies was a good opportunity to look at a few guys. In the Asia Cup, again, we will face good opposition.

Furthermore, Rohit stated there is no clarity on KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer’s return, given they are recovering from surgery. As a matter of fact, both have shared their progress on social media, but things are far from ideal with no clear line of communication regarding their availability for either event. 

“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 afterward, it is quite tough. We have to see how they respond and what they do. The selection (meeting) will be there in a few days, we will have a good debate about what we can do. But honestly, nobody is an automatic choice – they all have to fight for the spot – everyone has to, whether it is a top or a bottom spot.”

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