Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly has advised the current Indian captain Virat Kohli to bat at the crucial position of number four.
Cricket news: Ganguly also warned the team to not take England lightly
Ganguly said that Kohli’s batting at number four would provide solidity to the batting line-up in the three-match ODI series against England which will start from Thursday.
Since Sri Lanka tour in July-August 2017, India had tried six batsmen for the No. 4 slot in the likes of KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik and Ajinkya Rahane, but Ganguly believes that Kohli will be the best for that position.
“If you look at this T20I series, I think they have formed the proper batting line-up. With Rahul at number three, and Virat Kohli batting at number four, I think the problem has been sorted out. And I firmly believe it is also the right thing to do in the ODI format as well,” said Ganguly during the launch of his autobiography ‘A Century is Not Enough’ at UK.
“I think that’s what Kohli is going to do (in the upcoming series) as well,” the former skipper commented.
Ganguly further said that the England team lacks the necessary firepower in their bowling department which will give the visitors an advantage in the upcoming ODI series.
“England are a good side. They are a very good batting unit but bowling is the weaker part of their game. The way India won (easily) in Bristol when chasing 200 (in a T20 game), they will fancy their chances against this English bowling line-up in the ODI series,” he said.
India have won the T20I series 2-1, but Ganguly has cautioned the Men in Blue to not take England in a light way in this long series.
“Off late, the Indian team has been doing well in T20Is. I have enjoyed their performance in this England series as well. But they have to be mindful that it is only the start of a long summer with ODIs and five Tests to follow,” Ganguly said.
“They have set the tone for the latter contests with this win, but different formats will present different challenges for them. India should also know that they are a good unit and they can do well here.”
When asked about the strengths of the Indian team ahead of the ODI series, Ganguly said, “At the moment, India are a very good and well-rounded limited-overs’ side.
“A lot of good Indian sides have been tested in England and some of the better ones have done well here and won before. I think this Indian team can be like that, they can definitely win here this summer, definitely the ODIs and possibly the Tests too.”
Ganguly rated the current Indian team as the possessor of one of the most talented batting line-ups in the game at present.
“It is one of the most talented batting units in limited-overs’ in world cricket at the moment. The top-order is brilliant with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, and if they continue to score more runs at the top, they can challenge my partnership records with Sachin Tendulkar soon.
“Rohit, in particular, is a terrific player in the limited overs’ arena and will probably end up as one of the greats in white-ball cricket,” he said.
These comments from the former skipper would act as a boost for the entire team who are currently preparing themselves for the upcoming World Cup which will be played in England in 2019.
While the entire team is almost ready, yet there is a gap in the middle order despite having the experience of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and the new-found exuberance of Hardik Pandya.
Ganguly has also revealed that he is extremely pleased with the performance of wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav and is happy by the way Kuldeep has performed so far in the UK tour.
“Conditions in England can vary vastly from wicket to wicket and so every game is a different challenge. You need wicket-taking spinners on these English wickets even as they change from game to game. Kuldeep is already in the Test squad when playing at home, but he should be in the first-eleven for all formats for the Indian team,” Ganguly signed off.