Reflecting on Kohli’s exceptional achievements while batting at the No.
4 position, where he accumulated a remarkable 1767 runs with an average of 55.2, Shastri emphasized that his primary objective was to enhance flexibility within the top four batting slots.”If Virat has to bat at four, he will bat at four in the interest of the side. There were times I thought of it. Even in the previous two World Cups, when I was the coach in 2019, I thought I might have discussed that with MSK (Prasad) as well, of him batting at four just to break that top heavy line-up,” Shastri said in a chat on Star Sports’ Selection Day show.
“Because if we lost two or three at the top, we were gone and it was proved so. Just for that experience…and if you look at Virat Kohli’s record, he is good enough at number four,” Shastri added.
The quandary surrounding the No. 4 batting position continues to be a persistent concern within Indian cricket, echoing the very same issue faced during the 2019 ODI World Cup. In the period following the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup, India have experimented with 11 different players in the number four spot in ODIs.
As the World Cup approaches with just under two months remaining, the subject of who should occupy the number four position has once again become a prominent topic of debate. Owing to player injuries, the Indian team has grappled with identifying a suitable candidate throughout the year, and their current situation compels them to explore various options.