In Team India's 'slot war', Kohli has edge over Raina

Virat Kohli

Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has a problem of riches to deal with ahead of the World Cup and he says in what is turning out to be a "slot war" instead of a competition for places, Virat Kohli has an edge over Suresh Raina.

In an all-win campaign in the practice matches, Dhoni has had a chance to test players and he said Kohli could be preferred over Raina in the number four slot. Dhoni said he also wants Yuvraj Singh in the playing eleven for the event starting February 19.

"Major difficulty will come when Yuvraj gets going and scores one or two 50s, that will be the time we will be in a dilemma. The number four slot is very important for us. Right now it is a slot war. It is the number four slot where Kohli needs to bat with Gautam Gambhir at number three," Dhoni said after the 117 win over New Zealand in the second and final warm-up match here last night.

"To perform to his potential, Virat needs to bat up the order. That is where Raina can score batting down the order as well 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 playing eleven.

"Kohli is sort of a player who likes to spend little bit of time early and then go after the bowlers. Still, there is a bit of chance where Virat may get an edge over Raina seeing the current form he is in," he added.

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

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