Former Indian cricketer-turned commentator Aakash Chopra has picked the starting XI of the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore [RCB] ahead of the IPL 2021.
RCB made some interesting choices in the mini-auction back in February after they had released as many as 12 players from their 2020 squad that made their way to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
They racked up overseas recruitments like Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson, and Dan Christian. Besides selecting uncapped top-order Indian batsmen like Mohammed Azharudeen and Rajat Patidar.
What they didn’t do though was pick a reliable Indian middle-order batsman and so with Virat Kohli set to open this season, Aakash Chopra picked Rajat Patidar at No.3. Thus putting the onus on the duo of Glenn Maxwell and Dan Christian to do the finishing job.
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“Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli along with him, Patidar at No.3, AB de Villiers at No.4, then Glenn Maxwell at No.5 and Dan Christian at No.6,” said Aakash Chopra.
“Patidar is a good player but he is new. Maxwell is already very late at No.5. You want to push him up the order but if you try do that, Patidar will be the casualty. He will be of no use if he comes down the order. You have taken Azharuddeen but he is an opener and will not be able to bat down the order. They will have to play Dan Christian out of compulsion,” added Chopra.
As far as their bowling unit is concerned, Washington Sundar slots himself at the No.7 spot in Aakash Chopra’s XI followed by RCB’s final overseas pick in Kyle Jamieson. Then the Indian trio of Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, and Yuzvendra Chahal.
“At No.7 you have got Washington Sundar, at No.8 you have got Kyle Jamieson, at No.9 you have got Chahal and then two fast bowlers – Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini. Jamieson, Dan Christian, Maxwell and AB will make the four overseas players,” said Chopra.
Aakash Chopra signed off with the hope that RCB sorts out their lower middle-order and death issues and that they perform better than what they did last year.
“The team is not looking that bad. So hopefully if they are able to sort their lower middle-order and death bowling concerns and get off to a good start. Who knows 2021 could always be a better year than 2020,” signed off Chopra.