Virat Kohli to Bat at Number Four During the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Coach Ravi Shastri Mulling Number Three Role for Ambati Rayudu
File image of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri. (Photo Credit: ANI | Twitter)

Indian cricket team’s head coach Ravi Shastri is considering to send captain Virat Kohli at number four during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Shastri feels by sending Kohli at four, India can prolong their batting depth. With Kohli at four, the coach believes batting order will get flexibility. He frontrunner for number three, in that case, is Ambati Rayudu according to Shastri. He, however, feels any other good batsman can take that role as well.

“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),” the head coach said in an interview with CricbuzzDinesh Karthik Takes a Stunning Catch at Boundary to Dismiss Daryl Mitchell During Ind vs NZ, 1st T20I 2019 (Watch Video)

“Yes (Shastri's reply when asked about Rayudu at the one-down position), 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,” he added.

The Indian coach believes that the move will help him protect his best batsman in bowling friendly conditions. However, Shastri said that the final call will be taken only after assessing the conditions in England. Hardik & Krunal Pandya Become The Third Sibling Duo To Play For India During IND v NZ T20, 2019.

“But we will assess that on seeing conditions there 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)?”, Shastri said.

Ahead of the World Cup, India will play five-match ODI series against scheduled to begin in March 2019. After that, the players will be participating in the Indian Premier League 2019 (IPL 2019).