With only 4 ODIs remaining before the World Cup, the Indian team will be keen to identify the players for the remaining spots and finalise their plans and squads for the marquee tournament. Perhaps, the biggest positive for India leading into the tournament has been the form of the bowlers and Mohammed Shami has been taking the lead for Virat Kohli.
Former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra has identified Shami to become India's greatest asset in the World Cup considering his form and fitness.
"Mohammed Shami has been really impressive, not just in this series and today's game but for the last year and year-and-half. From South Africa tour I would say. Test cricket, he bowled really well. Bowled long spells. His fitness has been really really impressive. He will be India's greatest asset," Nehra was quoted as saying by CricketNext.
Position of Virat Kohli in the batting order
This comes after Indian skipper Virat Kohli praised his fast bowler for working on his fitness and shedding the extra weight.
The balance of the side will be a huge concern for the management in the World Cup and coach Ravi Shastri spoke about moving Virat Kohli to the number 4 position to bolster the batting order. This suggestion was met with mixed responses and now Ajit Agarkar, former Indian pacer, has labelled the idea 'silly'.
"Those numbers tell you the story - 32 hundreds at No.3. And yeah, the numbers still are good at No.4. But still, not at all. Why would you push your best batsman lower down the order when most of his career, the greatness that he has achieved at No.3 and he sets up the game or finishes off the game for India at that number," Agarkar told ESPNCricinfo.
Kohli too has said that he is open to shifting to number 4 if the team wants, but Agarkar is having nothing of it, especially after the record Kohli enjoys at number 3.
"He is right in saying that I don't mind batting at No.4, but I feel it will be a silly thing for India to push Kohli down the order. And not for batting KL Rahul at No.3. The top three are the reason why India are doing so well in one-day cricket. In middle-order, there are a few worries," Agarkar further added.
If India do indeed try Kohli at number 4, they should give it a shot in the ongoing series against Australia and see how Ambati Rayudu reacts to his role at number 3.