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'I'm allowed to experiment a little bit' - Kohli on batting at No. 4
India News

'I'm allowed to experiment a little bit' - Kohli on batting at No. 4

Virat Kohli admitted the move to bat at No. 4 during the ODI series opener against Australia backfired but cautioned against panic in reaction to India's humiliating 10-wicket defeat.

The Indian skipper decided to demote himself in the batting order to accommodate KL Rahul in the top-order following the return of a fit-again Shikhar Dhawan in the ODI set-up.

India's troubles of finding a suitable batsman to fill in the vacant No. 4 slot in the line-up go back to before the ICC World Cup and Kohli's failure prolongs their search for a stable force.

Kohli, who averages an astonishing 63.39 in his usual No. 3 position, was dismissed for 16 by leg-spinner Adam Zampa while trying to loft a loopy delivery straight past the bowler.

When asked about his ill-fated plan in the aftermath of India's heavy loss at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Kohli argued the management intended to maximise Rahul's potential by sending the Karnataka batsman ahead of him.

"We've had this discussion many times in the past as well. Because of the way KL [Rahul] has been batting, we have tried to sort of fit him into the batting lineup," he said in the post-match presentation.

"I don't think it has quite gone our way whenever I have batted at No. 4 so we will probably have to rethink that one," Kohli conceded in light of the fact that his past seven innings at this position have yielded just 62 runs.

Despite the backlash, Kohli felt some of the criticism was unwarranted and believed he could conduct certain experiments to find solutions to the few batting woes that exist in the Indian side.

"All in all, it's about giving guys opportunities and you will never know if this works or not if you never try.

"It's very easy to go with just one template and follow it non-stop. I think every now and then, it's about wanting to test guys and see how they react so this [tactic] was purely from that point of view."

"People need to relax and not panic with one game. I'm allowed to experiment a little bit and fail at times. The idea is to put in performances wherever you play but today was one of the days where it didn't come off," he concluded.

'I don't think we had enough intent'

India have now lost four consecutive ODIs to Australia at home stretching back to their series defeat last year.

Kohli chastised the hosts' flawed batting performance, which at times was too sluggish in trying to regain momentum.

From a strong position of 134-1, India crashed to a middling total of 255 all out that proved to be unthreatening to Australia's opening pair.

"I don't think we had enough intent to go out there and take risks to get those extra runs and put the bowlers under pressure," Kohli said.

"In phases, we were too respectful against their bowlers and didn't take the game by the scruff of the neck.

"It's a very strong Australian team, and if you don't play well enough, they will hurt you."