According to de Villiers, Kohli possesses the adaptability and situational awareness to effectively navigate and anchor the middle order, potentially resolving the team’s concerns.
With a history of camaraderie and collaboration as teammates in the Royal Challengers Bangalore, de Villiers acknowledges that Kohli’s prime position is at No. 3. Nevertheless, he believes that if circumstances demand it, Kohli should be prepared to rise to the occasion.
Expressing his thoughts on his YouTube channel ‘AB de Villiers 360’, the former IPL teammate of Kohli conveyed, “We’re still talking about who will be the No. 4 batter for India. I’ve heard some rumours about Virat (Kohli) possibly taking up that position. I would be a big supporter of that.”
“I think Virat is perfect for No. 4. He can put the innings together, play any kind of role in that middle order. I don’t know if he would like to do that. We know he loves his No. 3 position; he’s scored all his runs there, but at the end of the day, if the team needs you to do something, play a certain role, you have got to put your hand up and go for it,” former South Africa batter said.
India’s middle order has come into the spotlight yet again in the lead-up to the Asia Cup and the World Cup, with concerns around the fitness of Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul, who were named for the upcoming marquee events despite being short of match time.
Both had been out of cricketing action for a while due to injuries.
As India named their Asia Cup squad, captain Rohit Sharma emphasised the need for flexibility in the batting order, adding that players should be prepared to bat at any position.
The No. 4 spot, however, is most likely to go to Iyer, who is recovering from back surgery.
However, Kohli has had great success batting at that number in the past. At No. 4, Kohli has seven hundreds at a stellar average of 55.21 and a similarly stellar strike rate of 90.66. But he last batted in that position against Australia in Mumbai in January 2020.
de Villiers, also known as ‘Mr 360’, said Pakistan and India are the clear favourites to win the Asia Cup.
However, he added that all teams would be wary of defending champions Sri Lanka, going into the event.
He said the lightweights in the tournament might also spring a surprise victory over their more fancied opponents.
“Pakistan and India are the favourites to win the Asia Cup. However, Sri Lanka have the ability to upset the bigger teams,” he said.
(With ANI Inputs)