Team India Missed a Trick with Virat Kohli Batting at No. 4 – VVS Laxman
After the massive defeat against Australia, the top-batting order of the Team India has raised questions on the squad experimentation, especially with skipper Virat Kohli coming at No. 4 instead of his usual number three spot. The former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman believes that in order to experiment the team had certainly missed a trick.
Australia started their tour to India by getting a lead of 1-0 in the three-match One-day series where they defeated the hosts by 10 wickets. It happened after 15 years since 2005 when India faced such defeat in the limited-overs game.
For India, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, who recently made a comeback in the team after missing the entire West Indies tour of India in 2019 due to an injury. In the series opener at Wankhede against Australia, Dhawan scored a stunning 74 runs in the innings while Rohit got out for just 10 runs.
Coming in at No.3, Kl Rahul scored 47 runs off 60 balls, but his position in the team pushed Kohli to bat at No.4. The skipper could only score 16 runs from 18 balls and gave away his wicket to the young Aussie bowler Adam Zampa.
After that only Rishabh Pant (28) and Ravindra Jadeja (25) were able to sail India’s ship past 200 runs before they both went down as well. Thus, India ended up on 255.
Laxman: ‘India missed the trick with Virat Kohli’
Nonetheless, there was an evident failure in the batting order of the India team during the match that led to a low total in comparison to what India is capable of. Talking about the same, the former Test specialist of India said that the team missed the trick of using the skipper Virat Kohli at the proper position.
He said that Kohli is a run-making machine for the team and can lead to the end of the game if he comes in at or before No. 3. According to Laxman, the number fourth position is critical for the top-ranked batsman as by that time the bowlers are set and there is nothing more left that would change the match.
“India missed a trick by dropping Virat Kohli down to No. 4. The best batsman in the world, Virat can set up innings, be it batting at first or second, from No. 3. He is a master at assessing conditions and situations, is full of intent and energy.
And therefore, it creates uncertainty if not panic in the opposition ranks with every minute spent at the crease. At no. 4, the innings is already set up for him – whether he walks in at 160 or at 18. India will be served better by the captain moving back to the spot best for him and the team,” Laxman said.
Nevertheless, after the disastrous opening game of the series, the team will undergo certain batting changes. The wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, in the meantime, is dropped from the team for the second ODI at Rajkot.
Meanwhile, the next match will be exciting and important for Kohli & his men to make a certain comeback in the game and level the series before the decider in Chennai takes place on January 19.
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