At a time when India is looking for a mid-order batsman who can solve puzzle number 4, former head coach Ravi Shastri has floated the idea of sending Virat Kohli to the crucial batting position during the Men’s Cricket World Cup ICC 2023.
While Shreyas Iyer is the favorite to take the two-try World Cup spot, concerns remain over his fitness following back surgery. Shastri recently said that Kohli can excel at No. 4 as he used to bat at that position early in his career and he also has an impressive record – hitting seven hundred in 42 ODIs at an average of 55.21 with 1767 runs.
What does AB de Villiers say?
However, Shastri’s suggestion has been rejected by several former Indian cricketers, it has been supported by South African legend AB de Villiers as he too feels Virat Kohli is ready to bat at the No. 4 spot.
De Villiers said on his YouTube channel: “We are still talking about who will be the number 4 batsman for India. I have heard some rumors about the possibility of Virat taking that position. Also, I will be a big fan of that.”
“I think Virat is perfect for No. 4. He can anchor the innings, and play any kind of role in the middle order. I don’t know if he’ll want to do that or not. We know he has his tastes, the No. 3 spot.” He’s scored all of his runs there, but at the end of the day, if the team needs you to do something, to play a certain role, you have to raise your hand and be ready for it.”
What do we know so far?
With the Asian Cup and the World Cup just around the corner, India’s middle order is once again in the spotlight. Players like Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul may have been picked for the Asia Cup squad after a long layoff due to injury, but including them without fitness testing in the match conditions is definitely a gamble that the selectors and management of the team will be happy to do.
In fact, head coach Ajit Agarkar confirmed to the media while presenting the squad that Rahul had suffered a new injury that could keep him out of the first games of the Asia Cup. India appointed Sanju Samson as substitute goalkeeper, with Agarkar stating that Samson would act as cover for Rahul.
The Men in Blue will kick off their Asia Cup 2023 campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on September 2 in Pallekele.