Vikram Rathour, the newly-appointed batting coach of the Indian cricket team has named two players as possible occupants of the troubled no. 4 batting slot in the Men in Blue ODI team. These two men are Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer.
Speaking to the official website of BCCI, Rathour talked about the biggest challenges facing the Indian team. "The middle-order in one-day is not doing well and we must, of course, sort it out....The other area of concern is the opening partnership in Tests. We have options and there is healthy competition. We need to find a way for them to be more consistent."
He then mentioned the names of Iyer and Pandey as possible solutions to the middle-order woes of the ODI team.
"Shreyas Iyer has done well in the last couple of games and we also have Manish Pandey. These two guys have done very well in domestic cricket and with India A. These are the batters who are capable of doing the job and I have no doubt about it in my mind."
The former India international then explained how he thinks the two players can be made to succeed at the highest level.
"It is a matter of getting it right at the top level. We need to back them and provide them with the right preparations so that they can be there for a longer time. They have enough talent in them to do well," the former Test cricketer told BCCI.tv.
While Pandey has already tasted success at the international level, Iyer is a relative newcomer. The former has played 23 ODI matches in his career and has scored 440 runs at an average of 36.66 with one century and two half-centuries. The hundred that he scored was a special knock against Australia in early 2016, in Australia where he helped his team chase down a big total that was above 300.
Compared to this, Iyer, who has been captaining Delhi Capitals in the IPL, made his ODI debut in 2017 and has only played 9 50-over matches. He has scored four fifties in his career so far and has a really good average of 49.42. He was part of the Indian team in the recent ODI series in West Indies against the hosts.
Iyer batted beautifully against the Caribbean side and ended up with two half-centuries in three matches. So, he and Pandey haven't just impressed but have delivered also. Let's see how much of a chance the Indian selectors give to them.