While speaking on Star Sports, Nehra and Irfan Pathan shared their views on the way forward for RCB after their loss to the Delhi Capitals (DC) yesterday.
Ashish Nehra was asked about the RCB innings not being able to gain momentum in the middle overs. He responded by saying that the restrictive lines bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, in particular, had made it difficult for Virat Kohli to press the accelerator button.
"There was a lot of pressure on Virat Kohli, considering the conditions. It was not easy to hit Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, who does not go for wickets that much but does not allow you to score runs easily."
The former RCB bowling coach lauded the Delhi Capitals bowlers for maintaining the pressure on Virat Kohli. He added that RCB would be better served if their captain opens the batting in case the franchise does not want to field Aaron Finch in their playing XI.
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"You need to appreciate the Delhi Capitals for not giving any chance to the RCB captain. But in the upcoming encounters if you don't want to play Aaron Finch, then I feel Kohli should come as the opening batsman in this team."
Irfan Pathan's views on Virat Kohli opening the batting for RCB
Irfan Pathan agreed with his fellow left-arm pacer that Virat Kohli should open for RCB, but only if they strengthened their batting line-up.
"Virat Kohli should open if they play an additional batsman. If you are playing all-rounders from No.5 to No.7, it means you are reducing your batting."
He reasoned that the Bangalore-based franchise would need a batsman to manage the game in the middle overs if Virat Kohli happens to get out early.
"You need a batsman in the middle who runs the game. If Virat Kohli comes up and gets out, there is no one in the middle to run the game."
The Baroda all-rounder signed off by stating that Virat Kohli opening the innings would only work if RCB add depth to their batting.
"So, the problem is with the team combination. I partly agree with Ashish Nehra that it is better if he opens but only if they play an additional batsman."
Ashish Nehra was quick to add that Moeen Ali could be that additional batsman that RCB might be looking for.
"Moeen Ali will be a better option."
The Royal Challengers Bangalore have fielded Aaron Finch and Joshua Philippe as openers with Devdutt Padikkal in IPL 2020 thus far. While Padikkal has been promising at the top of the order, the two Aussies have failed to give the team a flying start, thereby putting a lot of pressure on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers down the order.
Published 03 Nov 2020, 14:52 IST