The opening match of IPL 2021 was played between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians on 9th April. Virat kohli led RCB got a perfect start with a win in opening game against Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021. Harshal Patel’s fifer and Ab Devilliers’ innings played an important role to register last ball victory in the opening match in Indian Premiere League (IPL) 2021. There were a few talking points from the match but the one that arguably was discussed the most among fans and experts was RCB’s batting order.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) decided to bring their new recruit Rajat Patidar at number 3 and Glenn Maxwell at number 4. This move prompted Ab Devilliers to bat at number 5 and played finishing role for the team. Although Ab Devilliers played a crucial innings for the team and succeeded in taking the team over the line with his 27-ball 48, questions did emerge on RCB’s strategy.
Former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh questioning why Ab De Villiers came in to bat at number 5 who is the best batsman of RCB after Kohli.
“Don’t understand @ABdeVilliers17 batting at no 5 !!? our best batsmen after opening have to come at no 3 or no 4 in t20 just an opinion”, Yuvi tweeted.
Kohli explains Ab De Villiers batting order at number 5:
In the presentation Virat Kohli was also asked about the batting order of AB De Villiers. He responded, “The opposition gets nervous about AB. We have depth in the batting which we want to utilise.”
“AB is probably the only player who’s so versatile and can do what he did on slow pitches today, so we have to understand. If there’s a partnership on, you might see a totally different order. But in a tricky chase, you want some options in the back end, where the opposition thinks it’s not over till he gets out,” Kohli further explained.
Explaining about Maxwell batting at number 4, Kohli said, “The thinking was that we wanted to give Maxi some balls at the start and not get him slogging right away. You saw the result today of him playing 10-15 balls. His inning was the game-changer. Had he stayed in we would’ve finished a couple of overs earlier.”