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Kohli has edge over Raina for number four slot: Dhoni

Posted By: Pti

Chennai, Feb 16 (PTI) Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhonitoday said that Virat Kohli has the edge over Suresh Raina tobat at number four going by the current form of the twoplayers while also saying that he would want Yuvraj Singh inthe playing eleven for the World Cup.

Stating that Yuvraj did not get a chance to bat todaysince Raina was sent up the order to have left-rightcombination, Dhoni said, "Major difficulty will come whenYuvraj gets going and scores one or two 50s, that will be thetime we will be in a dilemma. Number four slot is veryimportant for us. Right now it is a slot war. It is numberfour slot where Kohli needs to bat with Gautam Gambhir atnumber three."

"To perform to his potential, Virat needs to bat up theorder. That is where Raina can score batting down the order aswell and he has done very well batting at number five and six.

So, it will be a slot war more than for a place in the playingeleven.

"Kohli is sort of a player who likes to spend little bitof time early and then go after the bowlers. Still, there is abit of chance where Virat may get an edge over Raina seeingthe current form he is in," he said after India crushed NewZealand by 117 runs in their second and final World Cup gamehere.

Talking about importance of having Yuvraj in the team,Dhoni said, "What is important is we are playing with fourbowlers. A part-time spinner is really important especially ifit is left-arm away going spinner. That really adds on to thebowling strength, that''s the one big advantage he has got overothers. Once he gets going, it is difficult to stop him(Yuvraj) from scoring runs."

Asked whether he is worried that Yuvraj has not beenscoring big in recent times, Dhoni explained, "Today, he didnot get an opportunity. It would have been nice for him if hehad batted. It is important to have runs under your belt. Youmay be talented but at the end of the day you need those 30 or40 runs and then you start thinking positively. Then you lookto dominate the bowlers."

"Positive thing about Yuvraj is once he scores, he scoresthrough the series. Being a left-arm bowler, he has beencontributing right from South Africa, he has been a bigstrength to the team. If we play with three seamers and onespinner or two seamers or two spinners, Yuvraj role becomesimportant.

"He gives us the odd breakthroughs required in the middleovers. That is a big asset he has got where he edges over theothers. If all the batsmen are in good form, I do not mind onebatsman out of form. But the amount of talent he has got Iwill back him fully. We are not playing with seven bowlers,"said Dhoni. .

Story first published: Thursday, February 17, 2011, 0:45 [IST]
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