Ravi Shastri: It’s Incorrect Proposition For Virat Kohli Batting

It’s October 2014. The worst time of Virat Kohli’s career is currently. Since the horrifying Test series in England four months prior, Kohli’s emotional wounds have not fully recovered. By the time India faced the West Indies, Kohli had gone eight innings without a half-century. His most recent century came against Bangladesh in February. A surprising sight occurred during the second ODI in Delhi. Ambati Rayudu emerged at the moment Shikhar Dhawan’s wicket fell, quieting the Feroz Shah Kotla crowd. When Kohli entered and took guard after Ajinkya Rahane was removed, their voices gradually came back 11 overs later, but there was only one question on everyone’s mind: What was India’s score?

The Indian squad should avoid Shastri’s idea because it is the most absurd even though Kohli averages a staggering 55.21 and has 1767 runs from 39 innings, including 7 hundreds. “If Virat has to bat at position four, he will do it for the benefit of the team. Yes, there have been moments when I have considered it. To change up that top-heavy lineup, even in the previous two World Cups when I was the coach in 2019,” Shastri previously stated.

Let’s go back to 2019, when this tactic might have actually paid off. 

Let’s go back to 2019, when this tactic might have actually paid off. India had a strong opening partnership with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, both batsmen in brilliant form. This gave Kohli the chance to possibly go up to No. 4 and develop Rishabh Pant or Vijay Shankar at No. 3. When MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, and Hardik Pandya were in the lower-middle order, Virat Kohli as the anchor may have been a winning combination. Kohli was the captain and the No. 1 all-format hitter at the time.

the year 2023. Pant is hurt, Rohit is towards the end of his career, Dhoni has been retired for three years, and Dhawan is not even close to being part of India’s white-ball lineup. In addition, Iyer and Rahul haven’t participated in an international match in months, and Hardik isn’t as consistent a hitter as he was in England. The fact that Kohli is miles ahead of the other Indian hitters and the team needs its best batsman to face the most deliveries is without dispute.

Excellent numbers for Kohli at No. 4, but

Due to his unrestricted and unfettered batting style, Kohli has thrived in ODIs, where his skill has shone the brightest. In No. 3, Kohli will be given the go-ahead to set the tone and speed of the game, whereas in No. 4, he would be required to react rather than take the initiative. Imagine a situation where Kohli enters the field with the score at 15 or 175/2. In such circumstances, he will be forced to play catch-up and respond to the tactics and moves previously used by the enemy on his team. Additionally, one of Shubman Gill or Rohit Sharma would need to move up to the No. 3 position if Kohli were to take the No. 4 position. Consequently, focusing on one problem at a time.

Unquestionably, the 34-year-old Kohli of today wouldn’t bat an eye if asked to assume that position once more two World Cups hence, but for India’s sake—which could use one less headache—saner, more mature thinking must prevail.
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