Sourav Ganguly backs Virat Kohli at No 3 for World Cup 2019, says India not heavily dependent on captain and Jasprit Bumrah

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly also said that the notion that the present ODI team is heavily dependent on Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah is wrong.

Shubham Pandey, Mar 19, 2019 15:08:40 IST

Former India captain and Delhi Capitals Team Adviser for the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League, Sourav Ganguly, said that Indian skipper Virat Kohli should bat at No 3 in the 2019 World Cup, which begins on 30 May.

Since the Team India head coach Ravi Shastri had told the media that Virat can bat at No 4 in the batting order at the showpiece event, talks around Kohli's batting position have emerged. However, Ganguly thinks that Kohli should stick to batting at No 3, where he has made most of his runs.

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli (R) looks on as former captain Sourav Ganguly gestures during a cricket book launch function in Kolkata on April 7, 2018. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)

Sourav Ganguly said that Virat Kohli can make runs at any position but he is most-suited to bat No 3. AFP

Ganguly said, "He (Virat) is a big player. He can make runs anywhere in the batting line-up but I believe No 3 is most suited for him."

He also said that the notion that the current ODI team is heavily dependent on Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah is wrong.

"I don't think so we are too dependent on Virat and Bumrah. Every generation has produced champions and Virat Kohli is an absolute champion as well. I don't believe that if Virat does not perform, this team won't perform. Look at Rohit's (Sharma) records. Look at Shikhar's (Dhawan) records. Look at MS Dhoni I find Kedar Jadhav very sharp. He knows what he does at No 6. Then the bowling attack. Bhuvneshwar Kumar did very well in opportunities he got against Australia. This is the side which does not have many weaknesses," he added.

On Pujara batting at No 4

Ganguly had recently said to a TV Channel that Cheteshwar Pujara should be India's No 4. The decision raises many eyebrows as Pujara has never been a regular in the Indian team for a long time. On Tuesday, he justified his statement by saying that knowing Pujara is in such a good form, he put his name for the No 4 slot ahead. However, Ganguly admitted that Kohli has made up his mind already on who he wants to see batting at that much-talked about position.

He said, "I took Pujara's name because he is such a good form. I have seen Rahul Dravid play in my time at No 4 and 5. If you are running out of options in that position, then you can consider him. But I do believe that Pant and Rayudu are also good options.

"I think Virat knows at the back of his head that who his No 4 is. This series (against Australia at home) he had tried a bit. Anybody you pick, you have to remain consistent with that person for a period of time. Whether it is (Ambati) Rayudu or any other player. You have to make him believe that he is a part of the team you think can win a competition. I think Virat knows his job," he concluded.

'Will help improve skills of players like Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra'

Youngsters and U-19 World Cup winners Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra are set to feature in the Delhi Capitals' side for the 12th edition of the IPL. Ganguly said that along with head coach Ricky Ponting, his focus would be to help the young players improve their skills and not to change their game.

He said, "Our focus will be to improve these young cricketers skillwise. All of these cricketers have started successfully."

"Prithvi Shaw has shone wherever he has got opportunities. India, India A or U19 and Mumbai. He has played at such a young age for India. It is difficult to remember his last failure. He is a naturally-talented cricketer. These cricketers just need directions. It is very important to make them understand that they should do what they feel is right for them," said Ganguly.

Delhi Capitals will play their first match against three-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians at their home on 24 March.

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Updated Date: Mar 19, 2019 15:11:48 IST


Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
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10 4 6 0 8
11 4 7 0 8
10 3 7 0 6
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