“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.”
The prospect of Kohli dropping down a spot had seemed necessary with Shreyas Iyer (back) and KL Rahul (thigh) injured. But both of them have recovered well enough to be part of the upcoming Asia Cup and that tournament may well provide further clues as to how India are thinking about their middle-order batting options.
For the moment though, all indictions are that Iyer will reclaim the No. 4 spot. He is believed to be pain-free following intensive rehabilitation for back surgery, and has cleared his mandatory fitness tests.
On Friday, on the second day of India’s Asia Cup training camp in Alur, Iyer batted for over 90 minutes in a match simulation setting, facing off against both spin and pace, alongside Kohli as India chose to give their top five – Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Kohli, Iyer and Rahul lengthy batting time.