The Royal Challengers Bangalore's (RCB) flying start to IPL 2021 has drawn a word of caution from their former bowling coach Ashish Nehra. The retired Indian pacer recalled his time as a player for Delhi Daredevils while warning Virat Kohli's men to avoid taking their foot off the peddle.
With their thumping ten-wicket win against the Rajasthan Royals, the Bengaluru-based team went top the league table with 8 points and are yet to taste defeat after playing four matches.
Despite a dream start to the tournament, Ashish Nehra has called on Virat Kohli to avoid experimenting before qualifying for the play-offs. Speaking to Cricbuzz, the former India speedster said:
“Virat Kohli, as a skipper, never take things lightly. The way they have started their campaign and won four in four, they shouldn’t limit themselves. I remember when I was in Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) and when we went to South Africa in 2009. We experimented with a few things towards the end of the league phase as we had already won around 10 out of 12 games. So first, they should confirm their play-off qualification and try to finish in the top 2."
The second edition of the IPL, which was held in South Africa, saw the Delhi Daredevils win 10 of their 14 league matches and qualify for the play-offs as the No.1 ranked team in the table.
However, their domination did not amount to glory as the Virender Sehwag-led team were shown the door in the first semi-final by eventual champions Deccan Chargers.
RCB have found several valuable players other than Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers: Ashish Nehra
While RCB have never been short of star power with the likes of captain Virat Kohli and star batsman AB de Villiers in their ranks, they haven't been able to get consistent performances from their Indian contingent over the years.
But the think-tank seems to have put some thought into changing that trend. It has resulted in the emergence of a strong core of players such as Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj and opener Devdutt Padikkal, who scored a match-winning century against RR last night.
Ashish Nehra, who was RCB's bowling coach in the 2018 and 2019 editions of the tournament, is of the opinion that valuable contributions by these players have made Kohli's team serious title challengers. Ashish Nehra also believes that keeping this core intact will stand them in good stead in the years to come.
“RCB couldn’t have got a better start than this. Moreover, they have found several valuable players – other than Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers – in Devdutt Padikkal, Mohammed Siraj, Chahal and Washington Sundar. They should keep them in their core group. This team has got the potential that we have seen in previous editions. The way they took off this season, let’s hope that they can end things in a similar way," finished Ashish Nehra.