IPL 2020: 'If any team has an all-rounder at No. 5, it means they are slightly light on batting' - Irfan Pathan on what is going wrong for RCB

The RCB middle order has plenty of all-rounders [P/C:]
The RCB middle order has plenty of all-rounders [P/C:]
Kartik Iyer

Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has opined that the lack of depth in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batting lineup has been their biggest worry in IPL 2020.

He made this observation in the latest edition of the Star Sports show 'Game Plan' while previewing the upcoming eliminator between the Virat Kohli-led team and the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

Irfan Pathan was asked about what has been going wrong with the RCB batsmen in the last few matches in IPL 2020 and what could be the solution for the same. Pathan responded by saying that he did not agree with the suggestions in certain quarters that Virat Kohli should be opening the batting for RCB.

"There are a lot of solutions coming in front of you. People are saying that Virat Kohli should open. According to me, he should not open because the team RCB is playing, they have four pure batsmen and the all-rounders start coming from No. 5," said Pathan.

The former left-arm pacer elaborated his observation by saying that the biggest concern for RCB at the moment was the lack of depth in their batting, as they have an all-rounder coming out to bat at No. 5. The same has forced Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to adopt a more cautious approach in their batting, observed Pathan.

"If any team has an all-rounder at No. 5, it means they are slightly light on batting, and there only the mistake happens. AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli try to play conservatively in the middle overs; they try to take the responsibility on their shoulders," remarked Pathan.

RCB need to play an additional batsman, says Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan believes that Moeen Ali could be an ideal fit in the RCB middle order.
Irfan Pathan believes that Moeen Ali could be an ideal fit in the RCB middle order.

Irfan Pathan highlighted the need for an additional batsman in the RCB playing-XI who could lend more stability to the team's batting but opined in this regard that the franchise does not have any Indian batsman in its roster who could fit the bill.

"I feel they need to play an additional batsman. Virat Kohli should bat at No. 3, but they need to bring in a batsman who gives them some stability. They don't have an Indian batsman like that," said Pathan.

Gurkeerat Mann has played a few crucial innings for RCB in IPL 2020, but Pathan sounded sceptical about the player's ability to take the attack to the opposition when required.

"Gurkeerat Mann has played a few innings where you can show some confidence in him, but can he play the big shots with ease? If he can do that, bring him in," observed Pathan.

The former all-rounder suggested that Moeen Ali could perhaps be the best option to don that role, considering his good performances for RCB last year and his proficiency against both pace and spin.

"Else Moeen Ali is the best bet they have because last time he had a very good season in terms of batting. He can play the big shots and manage the game as well. He plays spin as well as pace well. If they get in an additional batsman, their team will look more complete," Pathan remarked.

When asked to pick out a winner in the eliminator game, Irfan Pathan lauded the Sunrisers Hyderabad for staging a grand comeback in the tournament but opined that the Royal Challengers are the favourites to continue their IPL 2020 campaign.

"Sunrisers Hyderabad need to be praised for the way they have played. They kept their run rate high and won in a great fashion against the Mumbai Indians. But I feel RCB (are going to win the game). I have been saying from the beginning that this year is probably RCB's, so this match is like if you don't win, you will go home, so I feel the team going ahead will probably be RCB," concluded Pathan.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad have momentum on their side as they arrive in the eliminator game after winning their last three games in IPL 2020. The Royal Challengers Bangalore, on the other hand, have been at the receiving end in their last four matches in the tournament.

Although the momentum might be with the Orange Army, the IPL playoffs tend to be different ball-games, with the toss likely to play a crucial role in the outcome of the match.

Check the IPL 2020 playoffs schedule here.

Edited by BH
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