Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have been making unnecessary changes in their playing XI.
He made this observation while previewing the Virat Kohli-led side's IPL 2020 encounter against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra highlighted the exclusions of Shivam Dube and Mohammed Siraj in the last match as examples of unnecessary changes.
"RCB keep making changes even though they don't need to. I am not a 100% happy about the fact that you made Shivam Dube sit out, let him play. You should also stick with Siraj."
The renowned commentator observed that RCB have all bases covered in both the spin and pace bowling departments, and thereby don't need to make too many alterations to their XI.
"You don't need to make a lot of changes. If spin is going to work more here, then you have Washington Sundar and Yuzi Chahal who is outstanding and you have a lot of fast bowling options if that is going to work."
He mentioned that RCB should not try to manufacture a left-right batting combination in the middle, and added that Chris Morris could be sent in to bat ahead of Gurkeerat Mann in the latter stages of innings.
"My only suggestion for RCB will be that they shouldn't change too much as the team is playing well and that they should not get stuck in trying to get a left-right combination. Also you can send Chris Morris ahead of Gurkeerat Mann if they have to bat in the last couple of overs as his form is very good."
Talking from the KKR perspective, Aakash Chopra appreciated the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav and Lockie Ferguson in their last encounter, but pointed out that Andre Russell's fitness issues could be a matter of concern.
"KKR made two good changes in the last match, getting in Kuldeep and Lockie Ferguson. So those two will play but what about Russell, not his form but his availability and his fitness."
The former KKR player observed that both Sunil Narine and Tom Banton would not prove to be ideal replacements for Russell in case the Jamaican is unavailable.
"Are we going to see him play? If not, then who is going to replace him? Sunil Narine cannot replace him because if you will play him you might have to drop Kuldeep, which will be wrong. If they play Tom Banton, who will open."
He added that team selection could be a big concern for Eoin Morgan if Russell is unfit to play.
"I think they have problems to address. How to get the solution for this problem, I don't know but Eoin Morgan's job is cut out. He has to figure out what needs to be done."
Aakash Chopra on the player battle to look forward to in the RCB vs KKR encounter
"Varun Chakravarthy vs AB de Villiers will be the player battle to watch out for. Initially KKR will start with Lockie Ferguson and Pat Cummins but just when De Villiers comes to bat, you should bowl Varun Chakravarthy and then see what happens."
The 43-year-old reasoned that it would be worth watching if the RCB middle-order batsman takes the attack to the KKR mystery spinner, with the pitch likely to assist the latter.
"It is an interesting matchup with the world's best 360 degree player on one side and an uncapped Indian player on the other side. Will AB de Villiers be able to hit sixes and fours off his bowling on a pitch where the ball might be stopping a bit. I am looking forward to this contest."
Aakash Chopra signed off by picking RCB as the likely victors in their face-off against KKR tonight.
Also see :- IPL prediction today
"I am saying Bangalore will win."
A win for RCB in today's encounter will help them join the Delhi Capitals at the top of the IPL 2020 points table. A positive result for KKR, on the contrary, will widen the gap between them and the bottom four teams in the race for a playoff spot.
Published 21 Oct 2020, 13:08 IST