Arguably the best batsman in world cricket today, Virat Kohli is a global cricketing icon. The dashing right hander recently completed his 29th ODI century, taking him up to number three in the all time centuries list.
The Indian skipper is at the peak of his powers, and will now be looking to build a team capable of lifting the World Cup in a couple of years time.
Kohli, who was part of the 2011 winning side, knows what it takes to lift the trophy and will be hoping to do so again, this time as a captain.
One of India’s biggest problems in recent years has been the lack of a batting linchpin in the middle order.
In spite of having Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli scoring bucket full of runs over the last few years, India’s brittle middle order has cost them at critical moments in ICC tournaments.
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The trio were in top form during the 2015 World Cup. But when they failed in the semi final, the middle order could not rise up to the challenge and take India home.
The situation repeated itself in this year’s Champions trophy final, where in Kohli and Sharma’s early dismissal’s signaled the end of India’s batting response to Pakistan.
The likes of Rahane, Yuvraj and Dhoni have been tried at number four, with no one really cementing that spot for themselves in the side.
So what can India do?
Before the 2015 world cup, Kohli was briefly deployed at number four, in an effort to work his way back into some batting form. It worked well, as it meant that Kohli would not be exposed to the moving ball early on.
A move back to number four could work again. As the skipper, Kohli could be the fulcrum of this side, and have other players bat around him.
He could drive the innings through the middle overs and also provide the finishing touch at the end, thereby easing the pressure on Dhoni’s shoulders.
This would mean that KL Rahul would get another shot at number three. Rahul has not yet made a place for himself in the ODI team, which is why this could be a fantastic opportunity for him.
Rahane could also be brought back into the fold, as the chance to bat at number three could give him a new lease of life in the ODI setup.
With Rohit and Dhawan at the top, Rahane/Rahul at three and Kohli at four, the Indian batting order gets a much more sturdy look to it. With Dhoni, Jadav and Jadeja to follow, there is enough fire power in side to boost the score in the death overs.
It might just be the key to another world cup triumph.