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Saturday, Dec 07, 2019

Pushing Virat Kohli to number 4 would be ‘silly’, believes Ajit Agarkar

Kohli himself has said that he would not mind batting at number 4, but Agarkar believes that the top order, which has been instrumental in India’s success in the recent past, should not be tinkered with.

cricket Updated: Mar 04, 2019 08:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of Virat Kohli
File image of Virat Kohli(AFP)
         

Indian head coach Ravi Shastri had said that the management wants the batting order to be quite flexible in the World Cup and that it could well mean that captain Virat Kohli could be pushed down to number 4 to bolster the middle order.

However, former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar does not buy this idea and believes that it would be a rather ‘silly’ move.

“Those numbers tell you the story - 32 hundreds at No.3. And yeah, the numbers still are good at No.4. But still, not at all. Why would you push your best batsman lower down the order when most of his career, the greatness that he has achieved at No.3 and he sets up the game or finishes off the game for India at that number,” Agarkar told ESPNCricinfo.

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Even Kohli has said that he would not mind batting at number 4, but Agarkar believes that the top order, which has been instrumental in India’s success in the recent past, should not be tinkered with.

“He is right in saying that I don’t mind batting at No.4, but I feel it will be a silly thing for India to push Kohli down the order. And not for batting KL Rahul at No.3. The top three are the reason why India are doing so well in one-day cricket. In middle-order, there are a few worries,” Agarkar further added.

If India do want to experiment with this idea, they would be better served to try out the captain at number 4 in the ongoing series against Australia. Ambati Rayudu, who has received the backing of the captain and the management, could well be asked to march out at number 3 and play with more freedom in order to provide a base for Kohli and the middle order to follow.