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Mike Hesson cheekily reacts to Virat Kohli's announcement of opening the innings for RCB

Mike Hesson
Mike Hesson
Modified 22 Mar 2021

Virat Kohli's recent revelation that he will open the innings in IPL 2021 has elicited a cheeky response from Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)'s director of cricket operations, Mike Hesson.

Post the announcement from their captain, RCB posted a photo of Virat Kohli on their Instagram handle with the caption "Guess who's back at the top of the order". Hesson hopes that the announcement will answer one of the 'consistent' questions floating around the franchise:

"Well that will hopefully stop one of the consistent questions," commented Hesson.

Opening the batting undoubtedly brings out the best of Virat Kohli in the IPL. From 61 innings in that position, Virat Kohli has amassed 2345 runs at an average of 47.86. His strike rate of 140.17 as an opener is over 16 better than average while batting at one down.

Virat Kohli has notched all his five T20 centuries (all for RCB) while opening the batting. In one season (2016), when the RCB captain played at the top of the order, he shattered numerous records by amassing 973 runs in 16 innings at an average of 81.08.

RCB's possible team combination after Virat Kohli's announcement

RCB captain Virat Kohli
RCB captain Virat Kohli

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli will remain the lynchpins of the RCB batting in IPL 2021. They will hope to be complemented well by Devdutt Paddikal, who has cemented his place in the team on the back of a few highly consistent performances in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

However, the RCB batting lineup could hold a slightly new look with a more formidable middle order in the IPL this year. They now have experienced big-hitters Glenn Maxwell and Dan Christian in the side along with young guns Mohammed Azharuddeen and Sachin Baby, who can all bat anywhere from no. 4 to no. 6.


Both Dan Christian and Glenn Maxwell produced a bevy of scintillating performances in the 2020-21 Big Bash League. They will also impart some much-needed balance to the side with their all-round skills. Either Sachin Baby, who has also proved his finishing credentials, or Azharuddeen could be deployed in the finisher's role.

Washington Sundar and Kyle Jamieson are more than handy with the willow and could give Virat Kohli and co consistent returns at the fag end of the innings. The bowing group is expected to remain more or less the same as it was last year.

Yuzvendra Chahal should lead the spin attack, while Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini will likely be the franchise's first-choice fast bowlers.

RCB's likely playing XI for IPL 2021:

Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian Sachin Baby, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Published 22 Mar 2021, 13:35 IST
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