ICC World Cup 2019: Sunil Gavaskar feels Virat Kohli should bat at number four in the tournament
The legendary batsman feels Kohli batting at number four will also provide him with the protection in swinging conditions.
Updated - Feb 7, 2019 12:25 pm
Echoing India’s head coach Ravi Shastri’s sentiments, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar feels Virat Kohli can be used at number four in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019. The number four spot in the batting lineup has been a major area of concern for Team India. In the last two years or so, the team-management has experimented extensively to find the right man for the spot but without much success.
The latest person to be tried out at number four is Ambati Rayudu. But while Rayudu has shown promise with some impressive knocks, most recently the 90-run knock in the fifth ODI against New Zealand, his inconsistency has kept the team-management worried. With just five more ODIs to play before the World Cup, India are definitely short on time for more experiments. And now Gavaskar feels Kohli should be an option for that spot.
The legendary batsman feels Kohli batting at number four will also provide him with the protection in swinging conditions. Citing India’s infamous collapse in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in England, Gavaskar said demoting Kohli to number four could be beneficial for the team.
“There needs to be flexibility. More the flexibility in the batting line-up, more beneficial to the team. Let’s look at what happened in the Champions Trophy final. Rohit Sharma was dismissed by Mohammed Aamir early. When Virat Kohli came out to bat, the ball was swinging quite a bit. Pakistan were pumped up after having put 300 on the board,” Gavaskar told India Today.
“In such situations, an important player like Virat Kohli needs protection. He can come in at No. 4. Maybe the ball may not move that much when the No. 4 batsman walks out to the middle. Such moves can be beneficial to the team. Yes, according to the conditions, flexibility is needed. If not, Virat Kohli is suited to batting at No. 3. In conditions that are conducive to swing bowling, India can afford to play Virat at No. 4,” added Gavaskar.
Kohli has played the majority of his ODI games at number three and has enjoyed unprecedented success. So far, he has scored 39 ODI hundreds in his career and as many as 32 of those hundreds came batting at No. 3. However, the India star has an impressive record at number four too, having scored 1929 runs including seven hundreds.