'Virat Kohli is perfect for No.4' - De Villiers backs Shastri's idea

The South African legend echoed the words of the former India head coach and lauded the modern-day giant to be the man for the toughest role. 
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If India require, Virat Kohli can be their perfect No.4 for the 2023 World Cup, reckons longstanding friend, former IPL teammate and South African batting great AB de Villiers, who backed the idea echoed by erstwhile head coach Ravi Shastri. 

De Villiers believes Kohli has the skill, range and the temperament to play the difficult role and be the guiding light in the middle-order in the mould that he was for the Proteas. 

For the legendary South African, Kohli makes for a "perfect fit" at the slot, given his ability to play the anchor, with the capabilities to swiftly transition into the role of an aggressor if required. 

Vindicting Shastri and De Villiers' words is Kohli's record at No.4. While a bonafide legend at the spot one-down in the order, the 34-year-old averages a mighty impressive 55.21 with a strike-rate of 90.66 across 39 innings, including seven of his 46 ODI hundreds. 

De Villiers opens up on Virat Kohli at No.4 

But the problem is it seems Kohli and India have long shed the thoughts of executing the idea of him controlling the innings at No.4. The great batter last came out at the spot three years back in an ODI against Australia in Mumbai. 

The idea picked up steam recently when Shastri revealed on Star Sports' 'Selection Day' show he had discussions with the then chief selector MSK Prasad to this means and pondered asking Kohli to bat No.4 for the 2019 World Cup to solve a sustained issue the side faced. 

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That curiously never materialised, but prior to the Asia Cup 2023 selection, Shastri felt there is an opportunity for the current team management under Rahul Dravid and chief selector Ajit Agarkar to consider Kohli at No.4 with injuries to Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul. 

"We're still talking about who will be the No. 4 batter for India. I've heard some rumours about Virat possibly taking up that position. I would be a big supporter of that," De Villiers said on his Youtube channel 'AB de Villiers 360.'

"I think Virat is perfect for No. 4. He can put the innings together, play any kind of role in that middle order. I don't know if he would like to do that. We know he loves his No. 3 position; he's scored all his runs there, but at the end of the day, if the team needs you to do something, play a certain role, you have got to put your hand up and got for it," he added.