Can Kohli deliver at No. 4 in Tests?
In his early ODI days, Kohli batted at almost every position from 1-7, but it is the No. 3 spot that gave him incredible success and continues to do so even today. Nine of his 15 ODI centuries have come batting one down, which explains why he’s made that place his own.
In Tests, it is a different story altogether. Kohli debuted at No. 3, and eventually moved lower down the order to No. 5 and 6. However, he is yet to occupy the batting position that belonged to Sachin Tendulkar. With the exit of Tendulkar after the West Indies home series, Kohli now stands a great chance of stepping in his shoes, and experiment with his batting in an untouched territory. 3 of his 4 Test tons have come when he’s batted at No. 5, which shows he can handle the pressure when the top order fails. A move up the order would only give him more time to acclimatize to the conditions around him.
The retirement of stalwarts like Dravid and Tendulkar has certainly opened up vacancies for youngsters waiting to find their way in. While it is safe to say that in Cheteshwar Pujara, India has found the ideal replacement for Dravid to some extent; whether Kohli can live up to the reputation a No. 4 batsman brings along, is something that only time can tell.
With the technique and flair of a modern-day cricketer, Kohli’s maturity and understanding of the sport has earned him laurels aplenty. His transformation from a hot-headed 20-something to a dependable, match-winning batsman has been phenomenal. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to promote him up the order in the upcoming South Africa series.
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