During the evening of the 2nd ODI between India and Australia, everything seemed perfect with the world because Virat Kohli decided to bat at number 3. At this moment, all the cricket fans and fantasy cricket lovers rejoiced because they all know the importance of position 3 in Virat Kohli’s career. Time and again, Virat Kohli has owned and justified the number 3 spot. However, in the first ODI against Australia, Kohli decided to bat at number 4 to accommodate KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan. This decision didn’t just affect his performance but also resulted in the brutal loss of the Indian cricket team that day. Learning from this mistake, Virat Kohli should not tinker with the number three position. Here are 4 reasons why Kohli batting at number 3 is the best thing for the Indian team.
If we look at Kohli’s last few scores when he batted at number four -16, 7, 12,11,3*,4 and 9, he has not created the same impact as he does at number three. Kohli’s average score is more than 63 when he bats at number 3. The average score of 56 is not bad when he comes to bat at number 4, but as we can see from his past 7 performance, the graph is only going down. Hopefully, after this series, King Kohli will be glued to number 3.
More time on the crease
In white-ball cricket, the general notion has always been that the best batsman should either open or bat high up in the order. More time at the crease allows a batsman to face more balls and as a result, he can score more runs – the primary reason why Virat Kohli opens the innings in the IPL for his franchise. Batting at number four doesn’t give him enough time to construct his innings. There might be a situation when Kohli comes at number four with 24 overs left and the run rate is a meagre 4.5. It would be a tricky situation for him to whether up the ante or save his wicket till the end. With IPL and few overseas tours around the corner, his teams would like to have a Kohli with a clear mindset.
Stability to the middle order
With a fragile middle order and a logjam around the number four position, it gives Virat Kohli more reason to bat at number three and play the anchor role for his team. If an early wicket goes down, Kohli can be there to steady the ship as compared to the pressure that he would be under if 2-3 batsmen are back in the hut by the time he starts his innings.
World cup around the corner
With the T20 world cup around the corner and India still looking to solve the puzzle of number four batsman, Kohli should not let go of the number three position. One of the major reasons behind India’s debacle in the semi-final of last year’s world cup was the question around the middle order line up which we could not resolve throughout the entire tournament. It’s high time that Indian team management and selectors fix the batting line up before we face one more setback in a global tournament. Virat Kohli coming to bat at number three is the ideal situation for every limited over match. On a lighter note, cricket fanatics and fantasy cricket fans would be hoping to see Kohli come to bat at number three as he is a clear cut pick in most of the fantasy cricket teams which involves India.