Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has revealed that he contemplated the idea of sending Virat Kohli to bat at number 4 position during the 2019 ODI World Cup, in a bid to diversify the batting lineup that was heavily skewed towards the top order back then.
Referring to Kohli's performance at the number four position, where the star batter amassed 1767 runs at an impressive average of 55.2, Shastri pointed out that his intention was to ensure adaptability in the top four positions.
"If Virat has to bat at four, he will bat at four in the interest of the side. You know, there were times I thought of it. Even in the previous two World Cups, when I was coach in 2019, I thought I might have discussed that with MSK [Prasad] as well of him batting at four just to break that top heavy line up,” Shastri told Star Sports.
"You know, because if we lost two or three at the top, we were gone and it was proved so. Just for that experience. And if you look at Virat Kohli's record, he is good enough at number four," he added.
The dilemma of the number 4 position is a recurring issue in Indian cricket, as the same challenge they encountered during the 2019 ODI World Cup. India have played 11 players at the No.4 position in ODIs since the end of the 2019 World Cup.
With less than two months to go for the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, the number 4 position is again a hot topic for debate. Due to the players getting injured, Team India have struggled to find the right fit throughout the year and are now left with no choice but to try different players.