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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Virat Kohli at number 4 at 2019 World Cup? Dilip Vengsarkar has his say

The Indian cricket team is in a bit of quandary of late regarding its batting line-up. The team management can’t seem to figure its number 4 batsman

cricket Updated: Mar 16, 2019 15:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File photo of Virat Kohli.
File photo of Virat Kohli. (AP)

The Indian cricket team is in a bit of quandary of late regarding its batting line-up.

The team management can’t seem to figure its number 4 batsman.

And the recent home ODI series against Australia that resulted in a 2-3 defeat for India hasn’t done a lot in helping resolve the situation.

Through the course of the five ODIs against Australia three different batters were tested at the crucial spot. While Ambati Rayudu batted at number 4 in the first three ODIs, the responsibility went to captain Virat Kohli—who usually comes in at 3, and the last match in Delhi saw Rishabh Pant come to the crease at two down.

But none of them came out of the tricky slot with any credit. With the 2019 World Cup just about a couple of months away, and India playing no international matches before the tournament in England, a decision on the question remains up in the air.

Also read: Australia great Ricky Ponting has a surprise pick for India’s No. 4 at 2019 World Cup

Recently, the Indian team coach Ravi Shastri opined that Kohli at number 4 lends a good balance to the side.

“The good thing about this Indian top-three is we can separate them if conditions and situations demand. Someone like Virat Kohli can go to number four, and we can put a good number three to bring more balance to the batting line-up. That’s flexibility for you, and for big tournaments like the World Cup, you have to be flexible to see what’s the best balance for the side”, Shastri told Cricbuzz in an interview.

“So we will decide that [accordingly in England],” he added.

And now Vengsarkar, who earned 116 India Test caps in a glorious international career, has sided with Shastri’s view.

Also read: Anil Kumble picks India’s squad for World Cup 2019, names surprise inclusions

“I agree with Ravi”, he told India Today, “because sometimes in English overcast conditions, if you lose early wickets, you may have to preserve Virat for number 4 because he is the best batsman in the world and in fantastic form.

“India depends heavily on him which is not a good thing because others have to perform”, he added.

The World Cup begins on 30 May with the opening match between England and South Africa at the Oval. India will begin their campaign against South Africa on 5 June in Southampton.

First Published: Mar 16, 2019 13:45 IST

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