Why both Pant and Iyer came to bat at number-4?
Hosts India succumbed to a nine-wicket defeat to South Africa in the final T20I at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday. However, fans witnessed a bizarre event during the Indian innings when both Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer headed towards the pitch to bat at number four. While all were baffled, skipper Virat Kohli explained what led to this goof up.
What exactly happened?
The incident happened during the eight over after opener Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed for 36 by Tabraiz Shamsi on the second ball of the over. Following his dismissal, it was seen that both Pant and Iyer headed down to walk towards the pitch to bat. However, both waited momentarily before Pant continued to walk and joined Kohli at the crease.
Lack of communication led to the confusion: Kohli
Kohli clarified it was due to lack of communication since the batting coach had a word with both, which led to this misunderstanding. "It was a little funny as well afterward because they both wanted to walk in. So, it would have been very funny if both reached the pitch, you know three batsmen in the field," said Kohli following the match.
Iyer was supposed to walk in before Pant: Kohli
"I think after 10 overs what we had decided was that Rishabh would walk in, and before that, Shreyas had to walk in. But, I think both of them got confused and didn't realize who has to walk in at what stage," added Kohli.
There has been debate over Pant and Iyer's batting spots
There has been a long-standing debate regarding India's number four batting spot. While Pant was the preferred choice in this series, his reckless style of play has raised questions if he is suitable to take up this role. Meanwhile, Iyer, who has been batting at number five, is enjoying a fine form. The analysts are backing him for the number four spot over Pant.
Pant could be dropped to number five in T20Is
While Pant seems to have settled in Tests, his attacking style of play does not suit the gameplay at number four in the white-ball cricket. And, the author feels that dropping him to the fifth spot would be ideal, as he could accelerate and play freely at the death. Meanwhile, Iyer could be pushed to play the role of anchor at four.