Virat Kohli can bat at No.4 depending on conditions in England: Sunil Gavaskar

first_img India Today Web Desk New DelhiFebruary 7, 2019UPDATED: February 7, 2019 08:00 IST India may play Virat Kohli at No. 4 during the 2019 Cricket World Cup (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSunil Gavaskar said India can afford to play Virat Kohli at No. 4 in conditions conducive to swing bowlingIndia head coach Ravi Shastri had said the team won’t be hesitant to play Kohli at No. 4 during the World CupVirat Kohli has been rested for the ongoing T20I series vs New ZealandFormer India captain Sunil Gavaskar seems to be on the same page with head coach Ravi Shastri when it comes to the idea of using Virat Kohli at No. 4 during the 2019 Cricket World Cup, starting May 30 in England and Wales.Gavaskar said an important player like Virat Kohli, at times, needs protection in conditions that are conducive to swing bowling in the upcoming quadrennial cricketing spectacle. The batting legend pointed out that Kohli found it difficult to manage the swinging ball in the final of 2017 Champions Trophy in which Pakistan blew away India’s top-order and registered a 180-run win.Over the last decade, Kohli has scored 39 ODI hundreds in his career. As many as 32 of those hundreds came batting at No. 3. Kohli does not have a bad record at No. 4 either: he has scored 1929 runs when batting at that position including seven hundreds.”There needs to be flexibility. More the flexibility in the batting line-up, more beneficial to the team. Let’s look at what happened in the Champions Trophy final. Rohit Sharma was dismissed by Mohammed Aamir early. When Virat Kohli came out to bat, the ball was swinging quite a bit. Pakistan were pumped up after having put 300 on the board,” Gavaskar told Aaj Tak on Wednesday.”In such situations, an important player like Virat Kohli needs protection. He can come in at No. 4. Maybe the ball may not move that much when the No. 4 batsman walks out to the middle. Such moves can be beneficial to the team.advertisement”Yes, according to the conditions, flexibility is needed. If not, Virat Kohli is suited to batting at No. 3. In conditions that are conducive to swing bowling, India can afford to play Virat at No. 4.”Gavaskar’s comments came even as Ravi Shastri had told Cricbuzz that India won’t be hesitant to shuffle the batting order and play Virat Kohli at No. 4 at the World Cup.India have been having issues with the middle-order and are being looked at as a top-heavy unit. However, the good batting form of Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav and veteran MS Dhoni should give India confidence in the lead up to the much-anticipated tournament of the year.Shastri had said: “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. So we will decide that (accordingly in England).”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.”India are currently experimenting with their combination in the ongoing three-match T20I series in New Zealand. The Rohit Sharma-led visiting side played as many as three wicketkeeper-batsmen and three all-rounders in the first T20I on Wednesday wherein they were thrashed by 80 runs.Also Read | MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli at No 4 in World Cup? Anil Kumble, Ravi Shastri differAlso Read | Sunil Gavaskar on Rishabh Pant’s failure in Wellington: Anybody can fail in one matchAlso Read | MS Dhoni part of an unfortunate record as New Zealand hammer India in 1st T20IAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Sunil GavaskarFollow Virat KohliFollow Ravi ShastriFollow 2019 Cricket World CupFollow India national cricket team Virat Kohli can bat at No.4 depending on conditions in England: Sunil GavaskarBatting great Sunil Gavaskar said an important player like Virat Kohli needs protection when the ball is swinging around in England at the Cricket World Cup, starting May 30.advertisementlast_img