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'One cannot afford to experiment against this Australian bowling line-up': VVS Laxman on Virat Kohli batting at No. 4

DNA logo DNA 6 days ago (DNA Web Desk)

India suffered their heaviest defeat at the hands of Australia in Mumbai as they were thrashed by 10 wickets.

India's captain Virat Kohli © AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi India's captain Virat Kohli

The partnership between captain Aaron Finch and David Warner at Wankhede Stadium proved to be difficult to crack for the Indian bowlers.

While the all-round performance of India is being criticized, Indian skipper Virat Kohli's decision to bat at No. 4 is cited as the main reason for the defeat.

Former India cricketer VVS Laxman said Kohli coming to bat at No. 4 won’t work as team’s best batsman should play the maximum number of deliveries.

Talking about it to the official broadcasters, Laxman said: “I don’t see this working. Sachin Tendulkar was the best player the world had ever seen. But he never relished batting at number four.

“You want your best batsman to play the maximum number of deliveries and set the game up and finish the game for the team, especially against a quality attack. One cannot afford to experiment against this Australian bowling line-up.

“I know you want to play KL Rahul because of his form and you also want to play Shikhar Dhawan because of his experience. But in ODIs, you have to play Rahul at number four. Virat Kohli has to bat at number three and set the game and finish the innings,” he said.

Also watch: Warner, Finch tons take Australia to comprehensive win (Video by ESPNcricinfo)


Spin great Harbhajan agreed with Laxman. "He has won so many games for India at number three. There is no need to change that," said Harbhajan.

Manjrekar added: "It is not a great move as it pushes Shreyas Iyer down to five after you gave him time to settle at number four (in the earlier series). If India continue with this, it might be pushed to the same situation that it was in the past."

Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden also felt the same and stated that somebody with 10,000+ runs should continue to bat at No. 3.

“You’ve got someone like Virat Kohli that has played 230-odd one-day matches and 180 of those have been at No. 3 and he has scored almost 10,000 runs at that particular position”, Hayden said.

Not just the commentators, even Kohli himself said that the decision to tinker with the batting order ‘didn't go their way’. 

“We’ve had this discussion many times in the past as well, due to the way KL has been batting. We’ve tried to fit him into the team. Having said that, it hasn’t gone our way when I have batted at no.4, we might have to rethink about this. So we have to see how it goes,” Kohli said.

“At the same time, it’s about giving opportunities to the other guys. People need not panic for just this one game. I think I am allowed to experiment a bit.”

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