Ready to bat at four if team requires, says Kohli

Hyderabad: India skipper Virat Kohli on Friday said based on the requirement of the team, he will be “more than happy to bat at number four” in the World Cup, beginning May 30.

“I’ve batted a lot of times at number four. I don’t necessarily try it out as I’ve done that a lot in the past. My game doesn’t change much from number three to four because the template is quite similar. In any given situation I try to play the game I know,” Kohli said on the eve of ODI series against Australia.

When asked whether the Indian Premier League (IPL) will influence the World Cup selection, Kohli said he doesn’t see anything changing with how the IPL goes for any player.

“I don’t see IPL influencing the World Cup selection. That would be a very radical analysis. We need to have a solid team before we head into IPL. We need to be clear as to what we want during the World Cup. If one or two players don’t have a good IPL season, it doesn’t mean picture for World Cup will change,” he pointed out.

Talking about the bowling options for the 50-over world tournament, India skipper said, “bowlers will depend on the opposition we will play, considering who will be more effective against the batsmen of other teams”.

He further said, “If conditions are seaming then it will be more pace dominating along with Hardik (Pandya) who is the all-rounder in the team. It is all about the combinations. I don’t see one ahead of the other. Both (Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav) of them together are the strongest spin bowling partners in the world at the moment. Our success in these couple of years is mainly because of these two guys and their impact in the middle overs and their ability to pick wickets for us.”

When quipped if KL Rahul will make it to the World Cup squad, Kohli said when Rahul plays he operates at a different level, adding in patches over the last season he has performed brilliantly.

“He (Rahul) can keep batting like that. It’s difficult to find a consistent batsman who can play good cricketing shots and still win your games. It’s a rare ability and I think he’s all the shorts. He can build on this and get some more innings under his belt. He’s made a strong case for himself in the World Cup,” he said.

India will host Australia for a five-match ODI series to bring the curtain down on their international season ahead of the World Cup. The first game is scheduled on March 2 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

“Both the teams know each other very well. Australia has a better idea of playing in Indian conditions because of their number of players playing in the IPL. So, we have to be our absolute best. Nothing can be taken lightly,” Kohli said.