India vs Australia 2020 | Virat Kohli's numbers batting at number four position
The last time Indian captain Virat Kohli came in to bat at number four was against the touring Australians. The fourth ODI in Mohali last year witnessed a high-scoring encounter, as more than 700 runs were scored that included two centuries and three fifties. A solid opening partnership of 193 runs between KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan had given India a thorough start. To capitalize on the start, Kohli decided to promote Rahul at number three.
The move didn't work as both the batsmen got out cheaply. Since then, Kohli hasn't turned back to bat at that position. Despite the number four conundrum, which continues to pose question marks now and then, Kohli stuck to his favorite position. A position where the Indian captain has scored 9509 runs in 182 matches at an astonishing average of 63.39. Against Australia specifically, Kohli has amassed 1633 runs in 38 matches with an average of 60.48 coming in at number three. His eight hundred at number three against Australia is his joint-highest against a particular country, matching with only West Indies.
The decision to come at number four to accommodate Rahul in the top-order can raise more questions than answers. His replacement at number three, Rahul is yet to establish himself at the international stage, let alone take-over the number three baton from Kohli. Rahul's two innings at number three for India against Australia has only yielded only 66 runs with his highest being 40 not out (ongoing India vs Australia not included)
The dynamics of the batting order can get affected as Shreyas Iyer will have to move down the order again, while the much-speculated batting position of Rishabh Pant will be in discussions yet again. In that case, Ravindra Jadeja and Pant might have to play the role of floaters, with Kedar Jadhav sitting out if Kohli decides to go in with a genuine all-rounder.
With the next ODI World Cup scheduled to be held in India in 2023, continuous chopping and changing of players and their batting position could land India in a spot of bother.