Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar reckoned that India skipper Virat Kohli can adapt and bat at No 4 if the situation arises. This statement by Gavaskar comes after India coach Ravi Shastri initially proposed the idea and took some fans by surprise. The general notion in ODIs is that the top three of India comprise of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma followed by the captain. Gavaskar opined that there is no need to protect a batsman of the caliber of Kohli, but also mentioned that if the team needs him to bat at No 4 in a match where Team India have lost their openers early in a chase, he (Kohli) should be ready. Also Read - MS Dhoni Speaks About Retirement Plans to Sanjay Manjrekar: 'As Long as I'm Beating The Fastest Sprinter in Team, I Consider Myself Fit For International Cricket'
“The best batsman in the world needs no protection in the batting order. But sometimes you have to assess the conditions. There could be a lot of swing and movement in the air in England… and if the opposition makes over 350 and India lose the first wicket early, then Kohli could be protected and sent at No.4. Also Read - Indian Cricket Team Kit Sponsorship: Puma Buys Bid Document, Adidas Too Could Enter fray
“This is the very reason why it is really important for India to select its third opener who is technically sound. Because the ball swings and seams around in England. But if the conditions are not very different then Kohli should bat at No.3,” Gavaskar told India Today. Also Read - Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni on Same Page as Leaders: Former India Cricketer Maninder Singh Picks Sourav Ganguly as Best India Skipper
“The good thing about this Indian top-three is we can separate them, if conditions and situations demand. Someone like Virat Kohli can go to number four, and we can put a good number three to bring more balance to the batting line-up. That’s flexibility for you, and for big tournaments like the World Cup, you have to be flexible to see what’s the best balance for the side. So we will decide that (accordingly in England).
“Maybe Rayudu, or someone else, could bat at number three, and Kohli comes in at number four. We wouldn’t want to disturb the opening combination. Separating the top-three could make the batting stronger,” Shastri had told Cricbuzz.