Will Virat Kohli Bat at No. 4 for India in Asia Cup and World Cup 2023?

Who will bat at number 4 position for India cricket team in the Asia Cup and the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023? I am not sure and so Indian cricket fans are. From Bangladesh, I can only assume that the management body of the Indian cricket team has not yet found the answer to this question— “Who will bat at no. 4?”.

The ” No. 4″ problem is not new for the team, but they are still struggling to find the solution.

Rohit Sharma, the captain of the India Men’s team, thinks that no one has been able to settle Yuvraj Singh’s place at number 4 in India’s batting lineup. Sharma made the comment in a program arranged by a European football club at an auditorium in Mumbai. However, former Indian coach and  cricket analyst Ravi Shastri has recently explained the way to solve this problem. This former coach of India men’s team thinks that Virat Kohli can be the solution for India’s number four batting position.

Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli
Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli

On August 11, 2023 ESPNCricinfo tweeted on X a collage of four possible batters to the number 4 position— Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav and Sanju Samson. The caption to the collage reads—”India’s No.4 at the ODI World Cup. If everyone is fit, who is your pick?”

Most of the X users are betting on Shreyas Iyer; Some people also talk about Rahul, Yadav, and Sanju. There are some people, I have found in the ‘reply section’, who are thinking out of the box. They are betting on Tilak Verma. I never watched Tilak Verma playing so I am not going to throw a comment in favour of him or against him, I am not going to keep Shreyas Iyer or Lokesh Rahul for the crucial no.

I have a reply to the tweet by ESPNCricinfo on X— “It will be decided on the Asia Cup performances. But I think Virat Kohli will sacrifice his no. 3 position and play at 4. He does this in T20Is. I’ll be happy if Kohli plays at his favourite position, 3; and I expect Shreyas at 4. SKY should not be added to the squad.”

What do you think? Will Virat Kohli bat at 4 in Asia Cup and World Cup? Let us see together.

Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer
Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer

After Yuvraj Songh, who played the last ODI of his career in 2017, no one has perfectly claimed India’s number 4 spot. Even before the 2019 ODI World Cup, India had problems with number 4. They have the same batting worries in the 2023 World Cup after 4 years. Since Yuvraj’s retirement in 2017, 17 batters have played for India at number 4. The most successful there was Shreyas Iyer—his 805 runs in 20 innings at an average of 47.35 and a strike rate of 94.37. Although Shreyas Iyer’s statistics is good enough, he is not a regular member in the team due to injuries. Shreyas Iyer has not played an ODI since January this year and has been sidelined since last March with a back injury. Lokesh Rahul, another batter who can play in the middle order, is also struggling with injuries.

India’s team management body also experimented with number 4 in the recently concluded West Indies series. Three batters batted at number 4 in the 3-match ODI series. Hardik Pandya batted at number 4 in the first ODI followed by Axar Patel and Sanju Samson in the next two matches.

Ravi Shastri wants to bet on the vastly experienced Virat Kohli who is affectionately called King Kohli. In an event on Star Sports, Mr Shastri said, “If Virat needs to bat at number 4, he will do it for the sake of the team. I thought so in the last two World Cups. Wanted to do this to break the heavy batting lineup of the top order. Because, if the first two-three men are out, then we have no chance, it is proven. If you look at Virat’s record, his record is good enough for number 4.’

Considering the record, Ravi Shastri did not say anything bad. In a career of 275 innings, Kohli has batted fours in 42 innings. In 39 innings of 42, Kohli scored 1767 runs at an average of 55.21. Scored 7 centuries. However, Kohli’s preferred batting position is number 3. At least that’s what the record says. In this position, he scored 10,777 runs at an average of 60.21 in 210 innings. Scored 39 centuries.

Final words

As the Asia Cup and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 approach, the dilemma over India’s number 4 batting position intensifies. The India team management is puzzled now, we can make our own comments though. The time will tell who bats at 4. No one can say about the decision whether Virat Kohli will play at no. 4 before the final call; not even Kohli himself. I do not want to see him sacrificing no. 3 position. It requires a vast chat in a cool environment.

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