Even though Team India are doing wonders in ODI cricket lately, the hunt for a solid No. 4 batsman still continues. Since the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, where the Men in Blue played the final of the showpiece event, the team management has tried out as many as six batsmen in the vital batting position.
The likes of Yuvraj Singh, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya have been given opportunities to seal the key batting slot. Most of them have had their fair share of good moments at No. 4, but none of them really managed to make the crucial batting position his own.
In the recently concluded T20I series against England, Virat opted to bat at No. 4 and pushed KL Rahul at three where the latter scored a century in the opening game at Old Trafford.
Ahead of the three-match ODI series against England, India’s vice-captain Rohit Sharma has said that Rahul’s batting position will depend on where skipper Kohli wants to bat in the 50-over format.
"I don't know where he'll bat in ODIs. Certainly he has been in great form. We have got to see tomorrow where he actually bats. It will either be No 3 or 4. I don't know where the captain wants to bat. That will be the most important question," Rohit quoted as saying by PTI.
"I think Rahul's a quality player – wherever he bats he will make an impact for sure. I think he's looking forward to this opportunity. He has waited for a long time. He certainly wants to make an impact. And we have seen how good he had been batting recently. So he will be eager to go out there and make an impact," he added.
Rohit was in all praise for India's young brigade as they often put their hands up and perform in pressure situations.
“It has been striking to observe the new boys come up with match-winning performances. Kuldeep (Yadav), (Yuzvendra) Chahal, Hardik (Pandya), (KL) Rahul, (Jasprit) Bumrah, these five to six boys have taken a lot of responsibilities in the last one year. When you see these boys performing we felt happy because to come in new and take up the responsibility is not really easy, as we ourselves have experienced,” Sharma pointed out.
"These guys are like give us responsibility, put us under pressure and we will succeed. The team goal is only to win wherever we play, perform whether we are seniors or juniors," he elaborated.
While Rohit is expecting high-scoring affairs, the classy right-hander also made it clear that a team can't go into bat with a target of 400 plus in mind.
“When you are playing on pitches like that (flat tracks), you like to chase preferably and this (Indian) team prefers to chase. But the toss is not in your control and if you bat first, you don't go out looking at scoring 400 runs. You bat normally, see how it goes and see where you are after 30 overs, and then analyse thereafter,” Rohit remarked.
"England is a very good team and are ranked no 1. It won't be easy for us to come out and snatch a victory. We have to be at our best and hopefully that will give us the result we want," he explained.
Talking about his personal form, Sharma seemed happy to start off the UK tour with a brilliant 97 against Ireland and a century in the decider against England.
"It was important whenever you start a tour you start on a positive note. It was important for me to strike form as early as possible. After IPL, I hadn't played at all, so it was important for me to strike form as early as I could. I was happy I could do that and more importantly win the series," Rohit concluded.
(With PTI inputs)