India's Virat Kohli walks back to the pavillion after his dismissal during the first one day international (ODI) cricket match of a three-match series between India and Australia at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on January 14, 2020.
India's Virat Kohli walks back to the pavillion after his dismissal during the first one day international (ODI) cricket match of a three-match series between India and Australia at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on January 14, 2020.
Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP

India and Australia went against each other in a fairly one-sided match where the Aussies completely overawed the Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Several things went wrong for the hosts as they batsmen and the bowlers never seemed to click for them.

One of the biggest decisions that backfired was captain Virat Kohli’s move to push himself down the order to number four to accommodate KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. But that turned out to be an unwise strategy as it triggered the entire Indian batting collapse within a few runs.

Even stats show that Kohli has not been successful at No. 4. In the last seven innings, Kohli has not scored more than 20 runs after coming to bat at number four, the highest being 16 runs in the first ODI against Australia on January 14, 2020.

Criticising this move during the commentary, Harbhajan Singh said, “He has won so many games for India at number three. There is no need to change that.”

Sanjay Manjrekar, too, voiced his dissent towards the move. He said, “It is not a great move as it pushes Shreyas Iyer down to five after you gave him time to settle at number four (in the earlier series). If India continue with this, it might be pushed to the same situation that it was in the past.”

After the match, Kohli conceded that the move did not yield positive results and as a result, he would have to rethink this decision.

During the post-match presentation, he said, “We’ve had this discussion in the past. Because of the way KL has batted, we have tried to have him bat up in the lineup. We might have to think about this. Every now and then, it’s about putting people up there and testing them. People need to relax and not panic. Today was one of the days it didn’t come off.”

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