IND vs AUS: In order to accommodate the in-form trio of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul, Kohli changed his favourite batting position from No. 3 to No.4
Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden questioned India skipper Virat Kohli’s decision to bat at number four in the first ODI of three-match series between the two teams at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday. In order to accommodate the in-form trio of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul, Kohli changed his favourite batting position from No. 3 to No.4. Rohit and Dhawan opened the innings while Rahul came at number three, followed by Kohli at number four in Mumbai ODI.
However, the decision didn’t prove to be fruitful as all four top-order batsmen went back into the hut for 156 in 31.2 overs with only Dhawan managing to cross the fifty-run mark.
“You’ve got someone like Virat Kohli that has played 230-odd one-day matches and 180 of those have been at No.3 and he has scored almost 10,000 runs at that particular position”, Hayden said in commentary as quoted by Fox Sports.com. “Why is there even any debate about it? He should just be batting No.3.”
“Make the tough call, someone is going to miss out, form will prevail, injury will prevail and someone (else) will get their opportunity”, he added.
Kohli, the number 1 ranked ODI batsman in the world, averages 63.4 at number three while it drops down to 56.5 at number four. Also, in his last seven innings at number four (including this innings at Wankhede), he has scores of 9, 4, 3* ,11,12, 7 & 16.
On the eve of the clash, Kohli had said he isn’t possessive about his batting position and is more than ready to move up or down depending upon the situation.
“Look, a guy in form is always good for the team. You obviously want to have the best players available and then chose from what the combination should be for the team. There might be a possibility that all three (Rohit, Shikhar and Rahul) might play,” Kohli told reporters in Mumbai.
“It will be interesting to see what balance we want to take in on the field,” Kohli said on the eve of the match. Asked if he would he be happy to bat lower down the order, Virat said, “Yeah, big possibility. I would be very happy to do so. Look I am not possessive about where I play. I am not insecure about where I bat.” he added