Virat Kohli admits Ajinkya Rahane is an option for Kingsmead as India search for their perfect No 4.
The India captain said on Wednesday that the position needed to be filled.
‘No 4 is something we have experimented with in the last couple of series. That is the only spot I can see that needs to be solidified otherwise the team looks pretty balanced.
‘I don’t think the quality of the team will be compromised in any way regardless of who takes the No 4 position because we have strong batsmen above and below to stabilise the innings. I am pretty confident about all the guys in the team.’
Shreyas Iyer filled the No 3 position in the Sri Lanka series while Kohli took a break from ODIs and it seemed likely that the 23-year-old would move down one position to fill No 4 with the skipper back in the side.
Despite Iyer scoring 88 and 65 against Sri Lanka, Kohli singled out Rahane as the favourite to protect an almost definite lower order.
‘I had said earlier that Ajinkya will be looked at as a third opener, but that situation can change because he has batted at No 4 in a World Cup before,’ said Kohli.
‘These conditions are such that you get to play fast bowling throughout the innings so he becomes a strong candidate for No 4.
‘Other than that we have Shreyas, Manish [Pandey], Kedar [Jadhav] can play No 5 and 6, Hardik [Pandya] is there, and MS [Dhoni] is obviously there.
‘We have kept all these options open, we don’t want to be one-dimensional. It depends whose technique is more suited to what spot. Especially in that particular country [England]. All options are open.
‘The lower middle order is more or less sorted. The combination is working well for us with Hardik and Kedar and MS rotating and batting together.
‘Obviously we have quality players in the side. It’s not like we are compromising on the results. It is about finding players who fit a particular spot better in certain conditions. That will be our mindset.’
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