Virat Kohli, who recently announced that this season will be his last as RCB captain, won the toss against KKR in Abu Dhabi and decided to bat first. The three-time finalists made a few interesting selections in their playing XI, with KS Bharat rewarded for his excellent showing in the pre-tournament practice games.
On the flip side, Tim David couldn't find a place in the RCB side, which featured Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Kyle Jamieson and Wanindu Hasaranga as its four overseas players. Here are three reasons why he should be part of the franchise's first-choice playing XI.
#3 RCB's middle order needs more solidity and explosiveness
With Virat Kohli opening the batting alongside Devdutt Padikkal, RCB's middle order has been left a touch short-handed. Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers follow Bharat in the batting order, after which there are no reliable full-time batsmen.
Sachin Baby walked in at No. 6 against KKR, apart from all-rounders in Wanindu Hasaranga and Kyle Jamieson. While all three are capable of scoring runs on their day, Baby doesn't have the edge that a specialist batsman at No. 6 needs. Hasaranga was dismissed for a first-ball duck, while Jamieson didn't impress during the time he spent at the crease.
The rest of the batting lineup was rolled over easily by KKR, with RCB not even crossing the three-figure mark. They need a presence like Tim David, who is not only dependable but also highly dangerous.
#2 RCB can afford to drop either Wanindu Hasaranga or Kyle Jamieson
Since Maxwell and De Villiers are undroppable for RCB, they have to sacrifice either Jamieson or Hasaranga to fit Tim David in the playing XI. Fortunately for them, they can afford to make either move.
While Hasaranga is an excellent attacking bowler who offers something with the bat, RCB have the services of a star leg-spinner in Yuzvendra Chahal to call upon. Shahbaz Ahmed, who bowled the franchise to victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad earlier this year, could serve as the second spinner if needed.
Jamieson, who has conceded runs at almost 10 per over in IPL 2021, has a replacement in Navdeep Saini, who will be itching to prove his worth after a tough run with both RCB and India. With Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel having exceeded expectations this season, Saini will have some breathing room to get accustomed to T20 cricket.
The value David would add to the middle order would probably outweigh the advantages of playing either Jamieson or Hasaranga.
#1 Tim David is a world-class T20 batsman
Regardless of what RCB need or which players are expendable, the biggest reason behind why Tim David should be in the playing XI is that he's simply world-class.
David has played in several white-ball leagues around the world, including the Big Bash League, The Hundred, the Caribbean Premier League and the Royal London One-Day Cup. In the 14 T20Is he has played, he has tallied 558 runs at an average of 46.5 and a strike rate of 158.52.
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David is in a rich vein of form right now, and it would be criminal to waste him on the bench. RCB need to pick him in the playing XI as they attempt to recover from being bowled out for 92 against KKR.