ICC World Cup 2019: Anil Kumble Believes Versatile Virat Kohli Can Bat ‘Anywhere’
Former Team India coach Anil Kumble has praised concurrent India National Cricket Team skipper Virat Kohli for bringing stability within a team. He has praised Kohli’s efforts for being versatile in approach. However, the 48-year-old legendary leg-spinner believes Kohli has done a bulk of the job at his No.3 position for the Men in Blue. The team management has focused to fix the number four spot which has been a major cause of concern in the lead up to the ICC World Cup 2019.
Kumble backs Kohli:
Pertinently, Kumble responded to a question of Gaurav Kalra whether Kohli’s option to bat at No.4 could affect the top-order.
“Not really, I mean Virat is so good a player that he can bat anywhere in the batting order. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, wherever you want him to bat. But I think, ideally you’d want the top-3 to be finishing things off,” Kumble told CricketNext.
Recently, Indian coach Ravi Shastri has said that Kohli could bat at number four while considering the plans for the ODI showpiece. He was equally backed by Team India selection committee chief MSK Prasad.
With fourth position still looming as a threat for India, Kohli has already indicated they’re aiming to fill a vacant spot.
Kohli reiterated his approach won’t change given to his batting option at the fourth position. He has done a great job for India whenever the time was in dire straits.
Kumble believes the top-three batters have set the tone for India in the past few years. Besides, he has been impressed with the way Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have stepped up to open the innings since the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.
“And that’s what’s been successful over the last couple of years for India, where you have Shikhar, Rohit or Virat, three of them performing consistently. So, I’d like to probably continue that and like I said,” he said.
Kumble was at the helm of affairs before differences with Kohli has ended his coaching stint following the culmination of 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
On June 24, 2016, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has appointed Kumble as the head coach. The veteran cricketer Kumble himself represented India between 1990 and 2008.
Kumble wants to see Dhoni batting at number four:
With 2019 World Cup kick-off in England and Wales on May 30, Kumble has put forth his prediction. He said the top four batters have the potential to win 70-80 per cent games for India.
Kumble, who has wealth of experience on his back, understands MS Dhoni’s game pretty well. He added the 37-year-old batsmen should bat at No. four to carry youngster alongside.
Furthermore, Kumble opines that it will also manage the run chase. In the recent past, Dhoni has strung quality scores to boost the morale of the team.
“For me the top-4 will win you 70-80% of matches. Ideally, your top-4 need to have that quality and that’s why I’m keen that someone like MS Dhoni bats at 4 and manages the middle order, rather than coming in where he has to not just manage the middle order. But also keep up with the run chase, that’s something I would want to see,” Kumble inferred.
In addition, team management is looking for theory on settling for answers in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Ambati Rayudu alongside Rishabh Pant has been already tested in the recently-concluded five-match ODI series against Australia. The visitors went on to win the series 3-2 following a 35-run win at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi.
Meanwhile, India will open their World Cup campaign on June 5 against South Africa in Southampton.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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