Virat Kohli’s success at No. 4 is good, but at No. 3 it’s exceptional: Aakash Chopra
"Kohli’s effectiveness shines at No. 3, tackling new balls and closing games," said Chopra.
View : 152
3 Min Read
Hosting JioCinema’s daily sports show ‘#AAKASHVANI,’ Aakash Chopra elaborated on what position will be appropriate for Virat Kohli. “There are two parameters to judge this. First, Virat Kohli’s success at No. 4 is good, but at No. 3 it’s exceptional. A significant sample size reinforces this and his peak equals India’s best. Hopes rest on his tournament performance – if he does well, India benefits; otherwise, a middle-order gap looms. Kohli’s effectiveness shines at No. 3, tackling new balls and closing games. Retaining this is vital.
Just because he has the ability to bat at No. 4 shouldn’t mean that he should play there. We did the same thing with KL Rahul – he is originally an opener but is played at the No. 5 position and it has worked out, but that doesn’t mean we should follow suit for everyone. Secondly, what would the opposition prefer – Kohli coming out to bat after 25 overs or after 10 overs? The answer is to let him come out at No. 3, that’s what I believe.”
Chopra further weighed in on whether a fit KL Rahul will be played, or will Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson be considered as well. “If KL Rahul is unavailable, Ishan Kishan’s placement becomes key. Sanju Samson can also replace him as a travel reserve - I am assuming without Rahul, Sanju Samson can enter the team. Given a No. 5 batter is needed, selection should be based on that specific condition.
Samson, a middle-order batsman and keeper, should be the backup. Having batted well in that position, he deserves retention. Knowing the reality as a reserve, Ishan might play, but not in his original slot. While it's ideal, it's unlikely. The Indian team values left-right openers, which means Ishan and Rohit, sidelining Gill. And Tilak could be picked over Suryakumar for a left-right combo, which matters up and down the order, plus he gives you a few overs of bowling.”
He also gave his take on whether India requires an off-spinner in the WC squad. “Of course - having either Washington Sundar or R Ashwin would be advantageous. If the opposing team has two to three left-handers in the middle order, Rohit and Hardik have decided that a left-arm spinner won't bowl to left-handed batters. While we don't know the exact reasons for this, it limits your options because then you're forced to play someone like Shardul Thakur in that match, even if the pitch is favourable for spin. If there's a left-handed batsman, you need an off-spinner. This is precisely why Tilak has been included in the squad – he can bat and offer the off-spin. Is the Indian team missing an off-spinner? Certainly. But can someone come in? I don't think so.”