Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will have to overcome their over-reliance on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers if they are to be successful in the IPL.
He made this observation while reviewing the Virat Kohli-led outfit's Eliminator defeat against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra pointed out that RCB made many changes to their playing XI and that this was a clear indication of the uncertainty in their minds.
"RCB had a puzzling batting order, so many changes. They made four changes, one was forced of course. But why the rest? If you are making so many changes, making upheavals in your batting order, it means you are not a 100% certain."
The reputed commentator questioned RCB decision's to open the batting with Virat Kohli despite Aaron Finch being included in the lineup.
"If RCB had played Aaron Finch, they had to open with him. But they didn't do that. Kohli himself opened and got out in the beginning. Devdutt also got out. There was a partnership between Aaron Finch and AB de Villiers."
He observed that Moeen Ali's run out off a free-hit after a stabilising partnership between Finch and AB de Villiers was ample proof that RCB were going to have a bad day at the office.
"But when Finch got out, there is only one way a batsman can get out on a freehit, that is run out and Moeen Ali got out that way. It tells you that RCB was going to have a very bad day."
Aakash Chopra highlighted that the RCB innings never gained momentum and that they were restricted to a below-par score with AB de Villiers' dismissal proving to be the last nail in the coffin.
"AB keeps standing at one end but their innings never took off. A total of 150-160 should have been scored on that pitch but RCB didn't even look capable of reaching there. Once AB de Villiers got out, it was over."
Aakash Chopra on RCB's over-reliance on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers
Aakash Chopra pointed out that although it is natural for a team to rely on great players like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, RCB seem to believe that they can only do well when the duo perform.
"RCB cannot do without Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. They are both amazing players, once in a generation kind of players. You will be looking towards them if you are in this team as they are the best players in the team."
"While it is great, but if the whole DNA of the team or the belief of the team, and I talking from an outsiders perspective, it seems like this team from within believes that they can only win if Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers do well."
The former KKR player observed that RCB have had the services of many big-ticket players of the modern game. He cited the examples of Aaron Finch and Moeen Ali currently, and Quinton de Kock in the past.
Chopra highlighted that the spotlight has always been on Kohli and De Villiers even when these established players have been part of the RCB lineup.
"Although the other players are no less. Devdutt Padikkal had a very good season. Aaron Finch is a big player, Moeen Ali is a big player. This team also had Quinton de Kock, a lot of big players have come in this team and gone but when they are here it seems they are in the shadows of Kohli and De Villiers."
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that RCB will have to find a solution for their over-reliance on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers for them to be a more successful franchise.
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"They will have figure out a way to have a successful life even when Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers don't do well. How that will happen, I don't have an answer for that but I do feel it is there and it should change at some stage."
The Royal Challengers Bangalore signed Aaron Finch for this year's IPL to add might to their batting lineup. But the Aussie limited-overs captain could not deliver the goods at the top of the order, thereby putting the onus on Kohli and De Villiers to carry the team on their shoulders once again.
Published 07 Nov 2020, 11:57 IST