Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly is not convinced with Ravi Shastri’s idea of changing Virat Kohli’s batting order keeping the upcoming World Cup in mind. The Indian head coach, in an interview to Cricbuzz, had stated about the importance and need of bringing Virat Kohli at No. 4 in the showpiece event of the fifty-over game.
“Virat Kohli will be coming back in the series to play at No.3. I was reading in the papers that Ravi [Shastri] wants him to play at No.4 but I don’t know who will play at No.3 then. Maybe Ambati Rayudu will play at No.3 with Kohli at No.4 but I don’t think that it is the right move because Kohli at No.3 is a huge player and this is India’s strength in ODIs — Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli,” Ganguly said in IndiaTV’s show Cricket ki Baat on Sunday.
“So, if these are your top four batsmen and then MS Dhoni comes with Kedar Jadhav at No.6 and Hardik Pandya at No.7. Dinesh Karthik will also be there and India should undoubtedly play Rishabh Pant in these five ODIs and play in the top-order and we can see if he is your match-winner at No.6 because Pant as a batsman can win you matches. So, giving him chances will be really important,” he added.
Shastri had told Cricbuzz that India can play Kohli at No.4 if the situation demands.
“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),” Shastri had said.
“Yes, 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.
“But we will assess that on seeing conditions in England. You don’t want to be 18-3 or 16-4 in a big tournament. I don’t care about bilateral ODIs, but why should I lose my best batsman early in a World Cup match (if the conditions are bowler friendly)?,” he had added.