Shastri hints Virat could bat at No.4 in World Cup 2019

Indian team management wants to be flexible in its approach for English conditions.

Virat Kohli in England | Getty

Indian team management might look to protect their biggest asset Virat Kohli from the early summer conditions in England by sending him one position down from skipper's regular batting slot at No.3. 

In an interview with Cricbuzz, head coach Ravi Shastri gave an insight into India's plans for the ICC Cricket World Cup, an integral part of which could be providing adequate balance to the middle-order with Virat's presence. 

"The good thing about this Indian top-three is we can separate them, if conditions and situations demand," Shastri said, "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. So we will decide that (accordingly in England)."

"Yes, maybe Rayudu, or someone else, could bat at number three, and Kohli comes in at number four. We wouldn’t want to disturb the opening combination. Separating the top-three could make the batting stronger."

Major concern seems to be the odd occasion when even the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli could fail together. 

"You don’t want to be 18-3 or 16-4 in a big tournament. I don’t care about bilateral ODIs, but why should I lose my best batsman early in a World Cup match (if the conditions are bowler friendly)," Shastri added. 

Former India all-rounder was also in praise of the veteran opening duo that he has up his sleeves. He reckons it is right up there among the finest limited overs partnerships at the top. 

"The top-order is a big factor for India in ODIs. Dhawan and Rohit are one of the best ODI opening pairs at the moment," Shastri reckons, "I think the left-right combination really helps them. Look at the speed with which Dhawan has got 5000 ODI runs."

"Look at Rohit’s record, three ODI double hundreds, did we even think that was possible? When they finish, I think they will be comparable to Sachin Tendulkar-Sourav Ganguly – India’s best opening pair in ODIs, or even Matthew Hayden-Adam Gilchrist (Australia) and Gordon Greenidge-Desmond Haynes (West Indies). They are big game players," he concluded.


By Kashish Chadha - 06 Feb, 2019

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