Virat Kohli hints at batting at Number 4: The Indian captain expressed consent regarding changing his batting position for the team.
After winning India’s last ODI series in New Zealand (4-1), India coach Ravi Shastri had put forward the notion of tinkering with India captain Virat Kohli’s batting position during the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Hailing the coach’s opinion as a “wonderful thought”, chief selector MSK Prasad had also expressed approval of Kohli batting at No. 4 during the world event. Given the cricketer and the batting position involved, the idea might have its own ramifications upon implementation.
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Speaking during the pre-series press conference at Hyderabad, Kohli was asked about the same. “If that’s the requirement of the team [Kohli batting at No. 4] at a particular stage in the game or before a particular game, I am more than happy to do it,” Kohli was quoted as saying.
“I have batted a lot at No. 4”
Laying emphasis on doing it for the team again, the Indian skipper went on to say that he has batted at the position in the past as well. Talking about his game, he said that it is unlikely to change from No. 3 to No. 4.
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“I have batted a lot of time at No. 4 and so I don’t necessarily need to try it out because I have done that a lot in the past. My game doesn’t change much from No. 3 to No. 4 because the template is quite similar and in any given situation I back myself to play the game that I know. If a team wants it at any stage, I’m more than happy to do it,” the 30-year old cricketer added.
Out of his 214 ODI innings, Kohli has played 37 (second-highest) at No. 4. His 1,744 runs at the position have come at an average of 58.13 and a strike rate of 90.40 including seven centuries and eight half-centuries.
While Kohli made his debut as an opening batsman, he eventually sealed his spot at No. 3. The first time he batted at No. 4 was against Pakistan during ICC Champions Trophy 2009 at Centurion. The last instance of the same had come during the second ODI of South Africa’s tour of India in 2015 at Indore.