The defeat to Australia by ten wickets at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday gave India a reality check. The home side had committed plenty of errors in the game and the obvious blunder was that of the Indian captain’s decision to bat at number four. Former Australian opening batsman Matthew Hayden has slammed the Virat Kohli’s decision to bat at number four instead of his favourite position of number three.
At the loss of KL Rahul, who batted at number three, the Delhi batsman came at the fourth spot. However, the decision backfired big time. Not only did the 31-year old was sent back only for 16, but the rest of the batting line-up crumbled to a disciplined bowling display by the tourists. From 165-5, India never really recovered and could manage to post only 255 which Australia chased down with ease.
Matthew Hayden blasts Virat Kohli:
Hayden opined that Kohli is someone who has played most of his matches at number three and amassed an astounding 10000 runs at this position. He further said that keeping this in mind; there shouldn’t be any debate about where he should bat and that someone needs to miss out on the playing eleven to accommodate the captain at number three.
“You’ve got someone like Virat Kohli that has played 230-odd one-day matches and 180 of those have been at No.3 and he has scored almost 10,000 runs at that particular position. Why is there even any debate about it? He should just be batting No.3. Make the tough call, someone is going to miss out, form will prevail, injury will prevail and someone (else) will get their opportunity.” Hayden said as quoted by Fox Sports.com
Virat Kohli’s statement about playing all three openers:
Before the opening match, Virat Kohli did indicate that the think-tank may consider playing all three openers, leaving Virat Kohli to bat at number four. While the 31-year old does average 56.48 at number four, he has batted at number three in most of the games he has played. Furthermore, prior to coming out to bat in Mumbai, Kohli had scores of 9, 4, 3*, 11, 12, 7 at number four spot. Kohli was also open to the possibility of dropping down in the batting order.
“Look, a guy in form is always good for the team. You obviously want to have the best players available and then chose from what the combination should be for the team. There might be a possibility that all three (Rohit, Shikhar and Rahul) might play. It will be interesting to see what balance we want to take in on the field. Yeah, big possibility. I would be very happy to do so. Look I am not possessive about where I play. I am not insecure about where I bat.” Kohli said before the game.
The two sides travel to Rajkot where the second ODI begins on the 17th of January. Australia would look to sew the series while India will have an uphill task in stopping the Australian juggernaut.