IPL 2017: AB de Villiers likely to lead RCB in Virat Kohli's absence
What’s the story?
South Africa’s AB de Villiers is likely to lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the absence of Virat Kohli. The news was confirmed by the head coach of the franchise Daniel Vettori in the team’s first press conference ahead of the 10th edition of the League.
The former New Zealand skipper added that Kohli would join the rest of the team on the 2nd of April and the BCCI doctors will monitor the recovery progress of the talismanic batsman over the course of the subsequent few days.
“He will come in on April 2. Between now and then, the BCCI doctors and physio will speak to us and our medical staff will get a clearer picture. Right now, we don’t have a clear picture on his availability. We’ll know in the next few days.
“The likely scenario is that AB de Villiers will take over the duties, but we’ll answer that once we find out if Virat is out,” Vettori said.
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After India’s eight-wicket win in the Dharamsala Test against Australia, Kohli had said that he was still a few weeks away from recovering fully from the shoulder injury that he had sustained in the Ranchi Test, one which had forced him to miss the last game of the home season.
The heart of the matter
Despite Kohli’s absence, Vettori seemed optimistic about the others taking up the responsibility and shed special light on Sarfaraz Khan and hoped that he would grab the opportunity presented to him.
India are coming off a long home Test season, but Vettori seemed confident of players like KL Rahul and Kohli getting accustomed to the T20 format soon.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore begin their campaign on the opening day of the League, when they face the Sunrisers Hyderabad in a repeat of the 2016 IPL final, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal.
It will now be interesting to see when Kohli will play his first match of the League. If he does recover in the three days before the opening game, then it will be a huge boost for the 2016 runners-up. If not, then obviously, the rest of the team will need to have take additional responsibility and step up their games.
The choice to make the South African the alternate leader is a good one not only because he is a senior member in the squad but also because he has prior captaincy experience with South Africa, which could come in handy this time around for his IPL franchise.