Former fast bowler Zaheer Khan recently expressed his concern over the lack of a No. 4 batter in the Indian ODI team in the lead up to the ICC World Cup later this year.
Shreyas Iyer's injury and Suryakumar Yadav's repeated failures in ODIs has put a quesiton mark over the team's preparedness for the showpiece event which will be held in India in October-November.
Iyer has been ruled out for at least 4-5 months and his injury is being closely monitored by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
He had shown decent form at No. 4, scoring 805 runs from 20 matches at an average of over 47 with two hundreds and five fifties.
His injury paved the way for Suryakumar Yadav to slot into the No. 4 position in the three ODIs against Australia but looked completely out of sorts. He was dismissed for three first-ball ducks in the series.
India doesn't seem to have any other batter in the squad who can fill Iyer's shoes and with Surya also out of form, Zaheer Khan feels the team's problem is back to square one.
Batting order remains a concern
"The batting order is something which they will have to definitely look at again. They will have to figure out the number 4 option again," Zaheer told Cricbuzz.
India was facing the same issue with the No. 4 position four years ago before the 2019 World Cup. All-rounder Vijay Shankar was entrusted with the role but he failed to grab the chances he got in England and was eventually sidelined from the side.
"That is something which was the discussion leading to the 2019 World Cup as well. We are talking about four years down the line now if we are in the same boat.
"Yes, I understand Shreyas Iyer was your designated number 4. You are really looking at him taking that role and responsibility but if he is going to be injured now for the longer time then you have to really find these answers," Zaheer said on Cricbuzz.
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