Virat Kohli has backed Ajinkya Rahane for playing at the No. 4 position in the 50-over format and stated that he has become a strong candidate for the spot with Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey. He has also added that the win in the last Test will help them start the ODI series on a positive note.
Considering the 2019 World Cup, Team India had already started working on their bench strength and for that, they opted rotational policy which helped some cricketers perform in the place of the regular players. But in many matches, the team suffered to pick a perfect player for the number four position. Many Indian players tried on that position but they failed to give stability to the team and now, Kohli feels that Rahane is one of the best options they have at the moment.
"We have explored many options in the last few months. We don't have too many series and too much time left before the World Cup, so we want to explore all the options before the World Cup," Kohli told reporters as quoted by PTI.
"I had said earlier that Ajinkya Rahane would be looked at as a third opener but that situation can change because he has batted at No. 4 in a World Cup (in 2015) before. These conditions are such that you get to play fast bowling throughout the innings so he becomes a strong candidate for No. 4.
"Other than him we have Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey. We don't want to be one-dimensional. It depends whose technique is more suited to what spot especially in that particular country. All options are open."
India lost the three-match Test series 2-1 and only managed to win the last game in Johannesburg. A 63-run victory will definitely boost-up the morale of the Indian side who will play six-match ODI series starting on February 1. The first 50-over match will be played in Durban, where the side has never won a match against the hosts.
"We obviously want to win every series that we play. Thinking of records or doing something that hasn't been done before is not something you think of before achieving it. It just adds extra pressure, which is not needed.
"But yes, we took a lot of confidence from that last Test. As batsmen obviously, everyone is looking forward to stepping up. Like in the last Test how we believed in ourselves and ended up winning the Test. We have to carry the same belief throughout this series."
The matches of the series were criticized especially the Wanderers Test because of the nature of the pitch. Players from both sides were unable to score in those tracks. However, Kohli is hopeful that the Durban pitch will be batting friendly and it will be different from the previous wickets.
"The wickets are going to be much better than the Test series, because of the format and this pitch looks pretty balanced I would say for a good game of cricket."
"In ODI cricket you have to think more, at every moment. In Test cricket, the game has a pattern, and it goes with a flow and a speed. So you can figure out in which session when the momentum shifts. But in ODI cricket it can be over to over. So you have to always stay ahead of the game.
"One advantage as a batsman is I can think like one and figure out what must be going through their minds. You have to be on top of the game and do things proactively first rather than later," the Indian skipper said.