Virat Kohli’s decision to demote himself at number four in order to make room for both KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan in the playing eleven for the just-concluded first ODI against Australia has been inviting a lot of criticism. The move did not pay off as India lost the series-opener to Australia by ten wickets at the Wankhede Stadium.
While both Dhawan (74) and Rahul (47) managed to do well but Virat Kohli failed to build on the strong start given by the two. The India skipper was out for just 16 as India were all out for only 255. Shreyas Iyer failed to get going while Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja got the starts but could not capitalise on them as India ended up posting a below par total.
In reply, Australia chased down 256 without break any sweat. Their openers Aaron Finch and David Warner went on to score centuries to make light work of the hosts. The visitors crossed down the finishing line in just the 38th over . Warner remained unbeaten on 128 while Finch remained unbeaten on 110.
That's that from the Wankhede.
Absolute domination by the Australian openers as Australia win the 1st ODI by 10 wickets and go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 14, 2020
On batting at number four:
When Virat Kohli attended the post-match presentation ceremony, he was asked by former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar about his poor record at number four. In reply, Virat Kohli revealed that the plan to play Rahul at number three was going on for quite some time now. At the same time, he also accepted that he has not really managed to deliver while batting at number four. Kohli stated that the team-management would think over his batting position.
“We’ve had this discussion many times in the past as well, due to the way KL has been batting. We’ve tried to fit him into the team. Having said that, it hasn’t gone our way when I have batted at no.4, so we have to see how it goes. At the same time, it’s about giving opportunities to the other guys. People need not panic for just this one game. I think I am allowed to experiment a bit,” said Virat Kohli.
Since 2015, Virat Kohli has batted at number four on seven occasions and has not managed to cross the 16-run mark. His score in those seven innings have been – 9, 4 3*, 11, 12, 7 and 16.