One of the major talking points leading into the ODI series against the Australians was- who will open with vice-captain Rohit Sharma at the top of the order- KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan? While Dhawan is one of the ODI openers of the modern-era, KL Rahul’s recent surge in form in both the formats of white-ball cricket had thrown an interesting conundrum ahead of the team management.
Fans, pundits and former cricketers debated as to who should open with Rohit in Mumbai. Virat Kohli had hinted towards dropping himself down at No.4 to accommodate both Rahul and the southpaw, Shikhar Dhawan. That is exactly what Kohli did during the first ODI. Kohli dropped himself at No.4 with KL Rahul taking up the No.3 spot.
The decision backfired substantially as Kohli’s struggles at the No.4 spot continued and VVS Laxman, former Indian cricketer, is one of the many pundits who believe that Virat should be batting at the No.3 spot. Speaking to the host broadcaster, VVS Laxman slammed Team India’s penchant for excessive experimentation and reckoned that the team should have gone with their best game plan in the series opener.
“Especially in a 3-match series. You have to have your best game plan, the best strategy in the 1st match. But I don’t see this (Kohli batting at number 4) working,” VVS Laxman said as quoted by TimesNow.
VVS Laxman opines why Virat Kohli should bat at No.3
Laxman went on to say that the best batsman of the side should bat at his preferred slot. He even gave the example of Sachin Tendulkar and said how Sachin used to never used to relish batting at the No.4 spot.
“Virat Kohli is a world-class player. Sachin Tendulkar was the best player world cricket has seen. Sachin never ever relished batting at No. 4. You want your best batsman to play the maximum number of deliveries. You want your best batsman to set the game up and finish the game, especially against a quality attack. And if there is any team where India cannot afford to experiment, it is this Australian bowling line-up,” he added.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli himself admitted in the post-match presentation that the decision to slot KL at No.3 and pushing himself to 4 backfired, something he and the team management needs to rethink before the all-important second ODI in Rajkot.
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