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 indiatoday.in/sports. 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 read more

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Mens Basketball Ohio State faces toughest challenge to date against No 5

Ohio State senior forward Jae’Sean Tate finishes a dunk in the first half against Appalachian State on Dec. 16, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Station ManagerSince playing Michigan on Dec. 4, Ohio State (10-3, 2-0 Big Ten) has dominated three straight nonconference opponents, scoring at least 80 points and allowing no more than 67 points in any game. The Buckeyes will not find their next matchup quite as easy. They travel to New Orleans to play No. 5 North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classic at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Here is a rundown of what to expect out of that game.Projected StartersUNC:G — Joel Berry II — Senior, 6-foot, 195 lbs., 17.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.5 apg, G — Kenny Williams — Junior, 6-foot-4, 185 lbs., 13.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.0 apgG/F — Theo Pinson — Senior, 6-foot-6, 220 lbs., 8.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.7 apgF — Garrison Brooks — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 215 lbs., 6.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.8 apgF — Luke Maye — Junior, 6-foot-8, 240 lbs., 19.3 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.3 apgOhio State:G — Musa Jallow — Freshman, 6-foot-5, 200 lbs., 4.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.3 apgG — C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 13.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.4 apgF — Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 12.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.9 apgF — Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 18.2 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.5 apgC — Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 12.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.8 apgScouting UNCOhio State has played a ranked opponent only once this season, and it was an 86-59 loss to now-No. 12 Gonzaga. The team it faces Saturday might be even better than that Bulldog squad. According to Kenpom.com, North Carolina is the No. 11 team in the nation, one spot ahead of Gonzaga. The Tar Heels have handled a few quality teams to this point, beating Stanford 96-72, Michigan 86-71 and No. 21 Tennessee 78-73. Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said in watching the film of those wins, it is clear North Carolina is a team that should be making a return trip to the Final Four in 2018.“There’s a reason they’re the No. 5 team in the country,” Holtmann said Thursday. “We’ve watched them play both home and away, they were up on Michigan by 30 with 10 minutes to go. They just can be really, really explosive. Obviously they have a terrific win at Tennessee. Every time you’re watching them play, you’re trying to evaluate things.”But while North Carolina has several big wins on its resume, it also has several standout losses. In its first real test of the season, it was beat down by now-No. 2 Michigan State 63-45, and lost to Wofford 79-75 Wednesday night. The Tar Heels tend to be one of the more dominant teams in the nation across the board, ranking as both a top-20 team by KenPom in both adjusted offensive efficiency (No. 14) and adjusted defensive efficiency (No. 19). But there is one area that could bode well for the Buckeyes. When Ohio State struggles, it is because it gets into turnover trouble. According to KenPom, Ohio State ranks No. 173 in offensive turnover rate. But the Tar Heels have not been a team to force many turnovers this season, ranking only 267th in defensive turnover rate. In North Carolina’s loss to Wofford, it forced just 10 turnovers and scored eight points off those turnovers. But that is one of the only matchups that looks favorable for the Buckeyes. The Tar Heels typically run a zone defense, a scheme that has caused Ohio State fits offensively all season.The Buckeyes also have not dealt with up-tempo teams well. The three teams that have beaten Ohio State — Gonzaga, Butler and Clemson — average just 16.8 seconds per offensive possession this season. The three Power Five teams Ohio State has beaten — Wisconsin, Michigan and Stanford — average 18.2 seconds per offensive possession. The Tar Heels are the seventh-fastest team in the nation on offense, taking just 14.4 seconds on every offensive possession. Ohio State forward Jae’Sean Tate said the team has spent extensive time at practice this week working on transition defense in anticipation for North Carolina’s faster offense.“The way they get the ball up the court so fast even on made-baskets, going to be key trying to make them play in the half-court is basically what we’re going to have to try to do,” Tate said.How will UNC rebound from its loss to Wofford?Both Ohio State and North Carolina wrapped up relatively easy nonconference stretches of their schedules before the upcoming trip to New Orleans. But unlike Ohio State, North Carolina could not handle its business against Wofford, losing 79-75.Wofford shot 43.8 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from beyond the arc overall, but was exceptional in the second half. The Terriers shot 50 percent (17-for-34) from the field, while also maintaining a 40 percent 3-point success rate with 6-of-15 makes. The Tar Heels, by comparison, shot only 36.4 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3-point range during the game. North Carolina, not known to be a 3-point shooting team, fell behind to Wofford and tried to make it all back up in bulk, but went just 5-for-16 from beyond the arc in the second half.The loss to a 25-point underdog could do one or two things to a team: it could serve as sufficient motivation to play as hard as possible the next time out or it could drag down morale. Holtmann and the Buckeyes are preparing for the former, reflecting on how the Tar Heels responded to its first loss of the season to Michigan State.“After they came back from getting beat by Michigan State, they were phenomenal against Michigan and it was incredible. Like I said, up 30 midway through the second half. I think any time you have a veteran team, that’s typically what happens,” Holtmann said. “You look at it, you say, ‘Absolutely, I’m pretty confident that we’re going to get their very best.’”Prediction:UNC wins 76-68 read more

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