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‘When I Was Coach, Might Have Discussed With MSK Prasad of Virat Kohli Batting at Four’: Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri revealed that he thought of using Virat Kohli at number 4 in 2019. (AFP Image)

Ravi Shastri revealed that he thought of using Virat Kohli at number 4 in 2019. (AFP Image)

Ravi Shastri pointed out that if the top-order fails then it’s good to have a batter like Kohli at number 4 to stabilise the innings.

Team India is facing a big conundrum in the middle order ahead of Asia Cup 2023 and ODI World Cup 2023 as there is still uncertainty over KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer’s availability. The team management has tried several options in the middle order in recent times but they have yet not found an ideal combination. The number 4 conundrum is not a new thing in Indian cricket as they faced the same during the 2019 ODI World Cup after Ambati Rayudu was dropped from the squad.

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri revealed that he had a chat with then-chief selector MSK Prasad for using Virat Kohli at number 4 during 2019 World Cup.

“If Virat has to bat at four, he will bat at four in the interest of the side. You know, there were times I thought of it. Even in the previous two World Cups, when I was coach in 2019, I thought I might have discussed that with MSK [Prasad] as well of him batting at four just to break that top heavy line up,” Shastri told Star Sports.

The former coach pointed out that if the top-order fails then it’s good to have a batter like Kohli at number 4 to stabilise the innings.

“You know, because if we lost two or three at the top, we were gone and it was proved so. Just for that experience… And if you look at Virat Kohli’s record, he is good enough at number four,” said Shastri.

The batting maestro has a decent batting record playing at Number 4 in ODIs as he scored 1767 runs in 42 matches at a sublime average of 55.21, with seven hundreds. However, it is unlikely for him to bat at number 4 in the upcoming multi-nation tournaments.

Meanwhile, in the past couple of years, India tried Shreyas Iyer and he managed to do well in the 20 matches he batted at the number 4 spot in which he scored 805 runs at 47.35 with two centuries and five fifties. However, his back injury has put uncertainty over his place in the World Cup squad. The stylish batter is currently undergoing rehab at the NCA and working hard to get fit for the Asia Cup and World Cup.

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