The MSK Prasad-led selection panel’s decision to pick Vijay Shankar ahead of Ambati Rayudu for the much-debated number four position invited a lot of criticism from the fans and former cricketers. However, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has come in the defense of the chief selector and has echoed his words, terming the all-rounder a three-dimensional cricketer. Virat believes that Shankar’s inclusion provides the national team with the perfect balance that other teams have in their respective World Cup teams.
"We tried a lot of things. There were a few combinations that we tried. Eventually when Vijay came in, it was three dimensional: he can bowl, he can field, he can bat,” Virat Kohli was quoted as saying by India Today.
That just gave us an option
During a recent interview, Kohli revealed the reason behind Shankar’s addition. He mentioned that besides providing with some solidity as a batsman, Shankar also gives the side the balance which most of the oppositions already have. "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 added.
While speaking about the batting positions and the roles of the players, Kohli noted that the 2011 champions are pretty much sorted with how they want to approach the upcoming 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," the Indian skipper further added.
No one can gift him that space
Kohli has always had that great amount of respect for MS Dhoni and it is quite an evident fact. He revealed that during his initial days in Indian cricket, Dhoni was the one who helped him with the opportunity to excel in the game. "For me, loyalty matters the most. When I walked into the team, he had the chance of trying someone else after a few games. Although I grabbed my opportunities really early, he gave me an opportunity to understand my game and gave me time in the game,” Kohli inferred.
Kohli further mentioned that Dhoni surely deserved the backing from the team management due to his immense contribution over the years. "It's not like we are giving him something, he deserves this and he is intelligent enough to know what's going on in his life, in his cricket, everything. It was important to give him space, for which people did not have much patience at that time. Now after 12 months people are saying he is the most important factor in the World Cup, which is true. We knew deep down all along," the Indian captain concluded.