Should Virat Kohli bat at #4 in ODIs?
In recent times, the Indian batting unit has been heavily dependent on the top-order batsmen which might prove to be a major setback for the Indian team in the upcoming World Cup. Rohit, Kohli and Dhawan are consistently contributing for the team; on the contrary, the middle order batsmen have played some inconsistent and immature cricket over the past few years.
The arrival of Ambati Rayudu has consolidated the middle order, but it would be better to shuffle the batting order in regards to Rayudu with Kohli. In other words, Kohli should take the responsibility to bat at #4 which would be a boon for the Indian team in the World Cup. Let's analyze why Virat should bat at #4.
Great current form of the top order batsmen
Virat, Rohit and Dhawan are in top-notch form which has perturbed every bowling unit of the world but, it would not be wrong to say that the dismissal of these three batsmen at an initial stage of the game crumbles up the Indian batting unit.
If Kohli comes to bat at #4, the middle order would be more consolidated and at the same time, his presence on the crease will boost up the confidence of lower middle order batsmen.
Virat, the chase master
As far as the finishing abilities of Dhoni is concerned, I believe that his skills have declined drastically and assigning him the role of a finisher would be detrimental to the team. Virat, the chase master, must take the responsibility of winding up the games which he has already undertaken, but it is not possible to finish each game playing in the top order; it will be a much easier task for him if he comes to bat at #4.
Stats of Virat at #4
The Indian team management is searching for a reliable batsman who could bat at #4 for a long time. Virat can be a perfect player who could bat at this position with great ease. Let's have a look at his record.
Virat has scored 1744 runs in just 37 innings when he batted at #4. He has made seven centuries and eight half-centuries at this position and his average is 58.13 which vividly depicts how perilous he is at #4.
Exposure to the middle order batsman
In the past few years, the middle order batsmen have not got a lot of exposure of batting under pressure because of the outstanding performances of the top order batsman, and whenever they got the chance, they have given ordinary performances.
In fact, the top-notch performance of the top order batsmen is one of the reasons because of which the middle order of the Indian batting unit is struggling. As long as Kohli bats at #3, he is going to finish nine out of ten games in a dominant fashion, but the whole batting unit collapses in that one match in which Kohli is unable to perform.
In low scoring games, Dhoni can prevent the collapse, but in high scoring games, he is not the same as he used to be. Hence, Kohli should bat at #4 to prevent the team from collapsing if the upper order batsmen fail to perform.
Balanced team combination
The batting unit of the team will be more balanced if Virat takes the responsibility to bat in the middle order. The trio of Rohit, Dhawan and Rayudu is perfect for the top order and the presence of Kohli and Dhoni in the middle order would be lethal for any bowling unit.
Kohli's presence in the middle order will also complement and improve Dhoni's performance and the duo could wind up every single game for team India in a dominant fashion.