Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag has suggested that the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) try a new opening pair for their upcoming games in the tournament. Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal have been the team's openers in the first seven games of this year's tournament.
Virender Sehwag feels Kohli should go back to the No. 3 position, where he has scored heaps of runs for both RCB and India. The ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ wants young Mohammed Azharuddeen to open the innings for the side instead of Kohli.
“I think Virat should come back to his original position of number three and consider Mohammed Azharuddeen for the opening role. He looks like a better option than Patidar right now. Kohli should be No. 3, with Maxwell and ABD to follow,” said Virender Sehwag.
Following his exploits in domestic cricket, Mohammed Azharuddeen was picked up by RCB in the IPL mini-auction earlier this year at his base price of ₹20 lakhs. The 27-year-old boasts a strike rate of 142.27 in T20 cricket and caught everyone’s attention with his knock of 137* in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy game against Mumbai earlier this year.
RCB will have three world-class players in the middle-order: Virender Sehwag
Having Mohammed Azharuddeen play higher up the order would mean that Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers will make up RCB's middle order. Virender Sehwag believes this troika can bail RCB out of trouble in difficult games.
“That (change in the order) would mean that you have three world-class players in the middle-order. If Devdutt Padikkal and Azharuddeen don’t do the job at the top, then these three are capable enough to bail the side out of trouble," said Virender Sehwag.
With Virat Kohli deciding to open the batting for RCB even before the start of the season, the No. 3 position has been a concern for the Bangalore side. They tried out the likes of Shahbaz Ahmed, Rajat Patidar and Washington Sundar in this position, but none of these players have managed to deliver for the team.
Patidar has accrued 71 runs in four games batting in the No. 3 position at an average of 17.75. Sundar and Ahmed have batted at number three in one game each and scored 7 and 14 runs, respectively.