Last week, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper, Virat Kohli confirmed that will be opening the innings in the upcoming 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), but team director Mike Hesson has said that the idea of Kohli playing as an opener was discussed before the mini-auction in February. RCB will be locking horns with the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL 2021 opener in Chennai.
Talking about the same in the video posted by RCB on their official Twitter hand, Mike Henson said, “Certainly we talked about Virat opening the batting before the auction, because that came in our auction planning and how we wanted to structure our lineup. Looking forward to Virat opening the batting with Devdutt Padikkal, a left-right combination, obviously different types of players. We know Virat’s record after he gets through the powerplay, he is phenomenal.”
Kohli had opened the batting for India in the fifth and final T20I against England last week. After winning the fifth T20I, he had confirmed that he would be opening the batting for RCB in this year’s IPL. The final of the 14th edition of the tournament will be played on May 30 at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Mike Hesson also shared that AB de Villiers will once again be a wicketkeeping option for them in IPL 2021. Talking about ABD, Hesson said, “We were delighted with the fact that AB de Villiers loved wicketkeeping and he embraced it. He wanted to continue doing it, he is a real option. Mohammed Azharuddin is a natural athlete with gloves and in the field. We are really pleased with the options we have got and AB is certainly one of those.”
RCB’s training camp will begin on March 29 for the upcoming edition of the IPL. Hesson earlier had said that AB de Villiers will arrive on March 28.
Elaborating further, Hesson said, “We have got players arriving all the way through till April 1. It is very different than the last year where we had everybody together for a long period of time on the back of a period where the guys had not trained or played. So, this time it is different, we got players playing international cricket over here and overseas and domestic cricket up until a handful of days ago.”