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Virat should bat at four if team wants


Sydney: Virat Kohli’s form may have taken a hit since dropping to number four in the batting order, but West Indian legend Sir Viv Richards feels the marauding cricketer should continue in the position if that is what the Indian team requires.

The Men in Blue are currently involved in a tri-series with Australia and England, a dress-rehearsal for the upcoming ODI World Cup.

Kohli has batted at number four in the first two losses at Melbourne and Brisbane, scoring 9 and 4 runs, leading to a huge debate. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni later justified this ploy saying that it allows the star batsman to control the innings whether batting first or chasing a target.

“I believe number four is quite a good position for any good batsman,” agreed Richards here.

“On these bouncy Australian wickets, there will always be some batsmen who are going to get outdone by that, especially early in the order. It makes sense to have Virat Kohli bat at number four in such a scenario then because he can dictate terms whatever situation the match is in.”

Kohli has quickly climbed the popularity charts as an Indian batsman, not only among the fans but also among his colleagues, present and past.

Among them, Richards has always been a fan of his attacking batting, even likening the young cricketer to his own playing days at one point of time. Kohli has also drawn parallels with Australian great Ricky Ponting. Both of them batted at number three, irrespective of tournament conditions, making this spot their own.

“There are always some people who say that your best player should come in at number three. But it is tough to say these things from the outside and you don’t know the team situation and you have to consider the conditions as well that are also an obvious factor here,” Richards explained.

“In Australia and New Zealand you can lose wickets quickly and with Virat at three, he might be vulnerable. Coming in at number four, he will have a better perspective of the innings going forward. Whether batting first or chasing, he will know the requirements and bat accordingly,” he said.

Richards said Kohli is good enough to bat at any position and win matches for his team.

“As the best batsman of the side, you want him to play more overs. But he also has to be comfortable doing the job for you. I am sure this is something the team management ought to have discussed among themselves.”

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