Opinion: Is this the time for Virat Kohli to play at number 4 in ODI's?

Opinion: Is this the time for Virat Kohli to play at number 4 in ODI’s?

Virat Kohl, number 4
Virat Kohli (Credits - PTI)

In every era of Indian cricket, they have always got something to trouble their dominance. Earlier, it was the captaincy disturbance filled by Kapil Dev. Later, it was the lack of finisher for the team which was filled by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

However, after enjoying quite a success, India missed the perfect all-rounder who can deliver with the bat and ball. Hardik Pandya’s emergence helped India to come out of that sort. However, the latest one troubling India more than the previous is the lack of specialist ODI batsman in the middle-order department.

As far as the 50-over game is concerned, the openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma followed by Virat Kohli at number 3 has yielded great results for India. But, the lack of genuine match-winner in the middle-order is hurting of late.

Virat Kohli, Number 4
Virat Kohli Credits – Getty Images.

India tried the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Yuvraj, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya and a lot of high-profile players at number 4. Yet, the result has been blank.

Why should Virat Kohli move to number 4?

With the ICC World Cup is on its way, the need to find the number 4 batsman is touching the red mark. Though India got the bright youngsters at stake, putting the money on an inexperienced player might be a big gamble especially, with the grand event around the corner.

As Virat Kohli already got enough experience under his belt, moving the third opener like KL Rahul or any youngster to Number 3 position might help India’s fortune. With Virat Kohli touching the ”invincible” mark, he can quickly acclimate to the batting position even if the top-order collapse.

Virat Kohli, number 4
Virat Kohli scored his 35th ODI century.(Photo credit – MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

Digging into the stats of Virat Kohli playing at number 4, it looks quite remarkable with 58.13 average in 37 games. He smashed 7 centuries to his name batting at that position.

However, it was a bit less compared to his towering records at number 3. But, the current context of Indian cricket demands the run-machine to drop down his position for the sake of India’s glory.

Problem to solve if Virat Kohli bats at number 4:

One of the possible problems which might occur with Virat Kohli demoting to the number 4 would be the lack of experienced campaigner while chasing the tallies under pressure.

Virat Kohli has an extraordinary record while chasing the scores on the board. He has an immense ability to play an anchor role in small chases and play aggressively if the run-rate demands him.

 Virat Kohli, number 4
Virat Kohli has the best record while chasing scores. (Credits: Getty)

The sudden drop down in order might leave a heavy burden on the Indian skipper which might ask him to score runs before settling in the crease.

At number 3, Virat Kohli gets enough time to settle in and keep the Indians on track. But, when it comes to number 4, the Indian skipper gets the limited opportunity to go after the bowlers before settling in his shoes.

In order to get rid of the future complexity, India should experiment Virat Kohli right in the upcoming Asia Cup 2018 to examine the shuffling. Meanwhile, the player playing at number 3 should come good for India at any cost.


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