Virat IPL 2021 is just around the corner as all eight franchises will battle it out to lift the coveted trophy. Royal Challengers Bangalore will open their campaign against the defending champions, Mumbai Indians in the season opener in Chennai. Led by Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bangalore are only three of the eight franchises who are yet to win the IPL.
RCB reached the playoffs last season for the first time since 2016, but were beaten by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator. Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson, has confirmed that Virat Kohli will feature alongside the youngster, Devdutt Padikkal at the top of the order.
This decision comes after the Indian skipper played a splendid innings against England in the 5th T20I, where he opened the innings alongside Rohit Sharma. Kohli scored an unbeaten knock of 80 runs in just 52 balls as India clinched the five match T20I series by a scoreline of 3-2. Kohli had himself stated that he would open the batting for RCB after the conclusion of the fifth T20I.
“ I am going to open in the IPL as well. Have batted in different positions in the past. But I feel we have a solid middle-order now. Will definitely like to partner Rohit at the top. Other guys feel a lot more confident when one of us is still in and is set. Augurs well for the team,” Virat Kohli said in the post match conference after the fifth T20I.
On the other hand, Devdutt Padikkal was RCB’s highest run-getter last season. The left-hander scored 473 runs in his 15 innings at an average of 31.53. Mike Hesson confirmed RCB’s opening pair and also highlighted Kohli’s impressive record at the top of the innings.
“We are looking forward to seeing Padikkal – Virat Kohli opening the batting, the record of Kohli is phenomenal after he gets through the powerplay and we saw how well he did in the 5th T20 after opening the batting,” he said according to RCB’s official website.