The No.4 slot in India's ODI team has been the focus of discussion for a long while now. It garnered even more attention during India's 2019 ODI World Cup campaign, with the failure to identify a regular No.4 batsman attributed as one of the main reasons for the team's exit at the semi-final stage.
Since the ODI World Cup, Shreyas Iyer seems to have cemented the No.4 spot. He has amassed 398 runs at an impressive average of 56.85 in the 9 matches he has played at that position. But considering the limited number of matches he has played and the Indian cricket team's propensity to make drastic changes, he might have to perform consistently for a considerably longer period to seal his spot.
Given this context, let us have a look at the 4 batsmen who have played the most ODI matches for India at the No.4 position since July 2015.
The 4 batsmen who have played most ODIs for India at No.4 since July 2015
#T2 MS Dhoni - 10 matches
MS Dhoni is among the three players who have played 10 ODI matches for India at the No.4 position since July 2015. The former Indian captain has enjoyed moderate success while batting at that number.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has scored 332 runs at No.4, at an average of 36.88 and a strike rate of 77.0. In the ten matches he has played at the position, he has struck only a couple of half-centuries with the Indian team managing to win 5 of these ODI encounters.
MS Dhoni's highest score at the No.4 position was an unbeaten 87 against Australia at Melbourne in January 2019, a knock which helped India chase down a 231-run target with 7 wickets in hand and 4 balls to spare.
#T2 Yuvraj Singh - 10 matches
Yuvraj Singh is the second among the three Indian players to have played 10 ODI matches at the No.4 position since July 2015, all of which came in 2017. The graceful left-hander was quite successful while playing as the two-down batsman.
The hero of India's 2011 World Cup campaign accumulated 358 runs at No.4, at an acceptable average of 44.75 and an impressive strike rate of 97.6. He smashed a century and a fifty at the position, with the Indian team winning 6 of these 10 ODI encounters.
Yuvraj Singh's best at the No.4 position was a 150-run knock against England at Cuttack in January 2017. This inning came off just 127 balls and helped India win the match by 15 runs.
#T2 Ajinkya Rahane - 10 matches
Ajinkya Rahane is the other batsman to have played 10 ODI matches for India at the No.4 spot since July 2015. The elegant right-hander has an impressive record at that number.
The vice-captain of the Indian Test team has amassed 411 runs at No.4, at an excellent average of 51.37 and an equally good strike rate of 96.0. In the ten matches he has played at the position, he has struck 4 half-centuries with the Indian team securing a win in 6 of these ODI encounters.
Ajinkya Rahane's highest score at the much-debated position was 89 runs against Australia at Brisbane in January 2016, although it came in a losing cause as the Kangaroos chased down the 309-run target with 7 wickets in hand and an over to spare.
#1 Ambati Rayudu - 16 matches
Ambati Rayudu has played 16 ODI matches for India at the No.4 position since July 2015, the most among all Indian batsmen. The outspoken right-hander enjoyed considerable success while playing as the two-down batsman.
The Hyderabad middle-order batsman scored 464 runs at No.4, at a decent average of 42.18 and an acceptable strike rate of 85.6. He smashed a ton apart from a couple of half-centuries at the position, with the Indian team winning 11 of these 16 ODI encounters.
Ambati Rayudu's best at the No.4 position was a 100-run knock against West Indies at the Brabourne Stadium in October 2018. These runs came off only 81 balls and helped India thrash the Caribbean team by a massive 224 runs.
Despite his impressive record, he was dumped from the Indian ODI team just before the 2019 ODI World Cup.
Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup 😉😋..— Ambati Rayudu (@RayuduAmbati) April 16, 2019