Indian captain Virat Kohli is very happy with the balanced World Cup squad but has not made any comments on how the middle order will look like in the marquee tournament. India's top order consisting of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli have been a consistent force, but the middle order combinations have been an area of concern for the side.
The number 4 conundrum has been a long-drawn issue for Indian cricket and has stretched ever since the 2017 Champions Trophy. India have used as many as 11 players for that particular number, but are no closer to finding out a solution. Ambati Rayudu, who was given the longest rope, lost his spot to Vijay Shankar in the World Cup squad.
Verdict on Vijay Shankar and batting positions
"He is a proper batsman as well. That just gave us an option, saying why not have that kind of balance which other teams have had all these years. From that point of view we all agreed on it," Kohli said about Vijay Shankar.
So, will he bat at number 4? The captain did not commit and said that the order can only be decided to look at the conditions and the opposition at the World Cup.
"We are pretty sorted with how we want to go about the World Cup. Obviously who bats where is the decision for later," Kohli further added.
India have good options to choose from - Dinesh Karthik, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav are good players who can be assigned different roles in the World Cup. Dhoni, who has found form this year with the bat, remains an important member at number 5 and even the skipper believes that India can best utilise the stumper in the middle order.
Kohli's comments are pretty much similar to what Ravi Shastri had made earlier. The coach too believed that flexibility in the middle order is the way to go as far as the World Cup is concerned since it allows the side to adapt and adjust to the different scenarios.
"Total flexibility [on No. 4 position] depending on conditions, opposition. I would say the top three... but after that, you can be very flexible," Shastri said after the squad was announced.
He also believed that this Indian side has been dominant for a long time now and that they are not dependent on any one player.
"If you look at the last five years, the way the Indian team has performed, they have always been in the top two or three. To be in top two or three for five years in a row, No1 in Tests, again top three in T20 cricket... you can't depend on one player," he added.