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Ravi Shastri mulls sending Virat Kohli at No 4 in World Cup

NEW DELHI: India coach Ravi Shastri is mulling to send skipper Virat Kohli to bat at No Four to give protection to him in bowling-friendly stipulations during the World Cup in England.

Shastri said Kohli at quantity Four can make the batting unit more stronger.

"The good thing about this Indian top-three is we can separate them, if conditions and situations demand. Someone like Virat Kohli can go to number four, and we can put a good number three to bring more balance to the batting line-up," Shastri informed Cricbuzz.

"That's flexibility for you, and for giant tournaments like the World Cup, you need to be flexible to see what is the best balance for the side. So we will be able to come to a decision that (accordingly in England).

"We will assess that on seeing stipulations there in England. You don't wish to be 18-3 or 16-Four in a large tournament. I don't care about bilateral ODIs, but why must I lose my best batsman early in a World Cup match (if the stipulations are bowler friendly)?" he added.

Ambati Rayudu confirmed his prowess with a match-winning 90 at the Wellington ODI and Shastri said he can also be an option at quantity three.

"Yes, perhaps Rayudu, or somebody else, may just bat at quantity three, and Kohli comes in at quantity four. We would not wish to disturb the outlet combination. Separating the top-three may just make the batting stronger."

Shastri said Rayudu's innings eased his worries to an extent and his unorthodox taste of batting can also be an X factor for the team.

"... the only quality Rayudu has, he can also be very unorthodox. With the best way he bats, he can also be an x-factor for us. He will play shots which might be unconventional at times, but they are able to be very effective," he said.

"The more he plays like this (like at Wellington), the more he will realise he can do that to the opposition."

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