Coach Ravi Shastri Mulls Sending Kohli at No. 4 in World Cup

Don’t care about bilateral ODIs, but why should I lose my best batsman early in a World Cup match: Ravi Shastri

Updated07 Feb 2019, 04:09 AM IST
2 min read

India coach Ravi Shastri is mulling to send skipper Virat Kohli to bat at No. 4 to protect him in bowling-friendly conditions during the World Cup in England.

Shastri said Kohli at number four can make the batting unit more stronger.

“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.” 
Ravi Shastri to Cricbuzz

"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),” said Shastri.

“We will assess that on seeing conditions there in England. 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)?”
Ravi Shastri, India Coach

Ambati Rayudu showed his prowess with a match-winning 90 at the Hamilton ODI and Shastri said he can be an option at number three.

“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.”
Ravi Shastri, India Coach

Shastri said Rayudu's innings eased his worries to an extent and his unorthodox style of batting can be an X factor for the team.

"... the one quality Rayudu has, he can be very unorthodox. With the way he bats, he can be an x-factor for us. He will play shots that are unconventional at times, but they can be very effective," he said. "The more he plays like this (like at Wellington), the more he will realise he can do that to the opposition."

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Published: 06 Feb 2019, 04:57 PM IST

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