Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that Navdeep Saini would have a great opportunity to be the leader of Royal Challengers Bangalore's (RCB) fast bowling unit in IPL 2020. He made this observation while doing a SWOT analysis of RCB ahead of the upcoming IPL in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
"One of RCB's strengths is that they have Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. When the team has a modern master and an absolute genius, it will be a strength always. And there is no doubt that both of them will do well this year."
The renowned commentator observed that RCB's other strength is that most of the players in their probable playing XI would have international experience, and stated that this was not the case in previous editions of the IPL.
"Their second strength this season is that they have added a few names to the aforementioned pair. A lot of international cricketers are going to be a part of the XI. Earlier that was not the case when they used to have a lot of rookie players but now most of the Indians in their squad have played international cricket."
While highlighting the experience that Aaron Finch and Moeen Ali would bring to the table, Aakash Chopra pointed out that the young Indian players like Shivam Dube, Navdeep Saini and Washington Sundar in the RCB squad have also had a decent run in international cricket.
"And then they have Aaron Finch and Moeen Ali. When you talk about players who have played for India, Shivam Dube is now an India player, Navdeep Saini is coming with a good experience and Washington Sundar has played quite a few T20 matches."
The former KKR player added that Devdutt Padikkal could be the only player in RCB's probable playing XI without any international exposure.
"So when they field their XI, there would only be an odd player who would not have represented their country. The only guy I am thinking like that is Devdutt Padikkal."
Aakash Chopra on opportunities for the young RCB players in IPL 2020
Aakash Chopra reckoned that there would be a lot of players in the RCB lineup who would have opportunities to showcase their potential in IPL 2020. He named Devdutt Padikkal as the first such player, if the Karnataka batsman is preferred over Parthiv Patel for the franchise's opening slot.
"The first name is Devdutt Padikkal. If he gets an opportunity to play, because they have another tempting option in Parthiv Patel because he can keep as well. He is a left-handed swashbuckling batsman from Karnataka and could be the guy who would have a huge opportunity."
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Aakash Chopra mentioned that Shivam Dube would have an opportunity to present his case as an alternative to Hardik Pandya in the Indian squad.
"There would be two T20 World Cups in two consecutive years and there is always an injury issue with Hardik Pandya, so Shivam Dube could be that guy and this could be the IPL where he makes a name for himself and leaves an indelible impression."
The 42-year-old named Washington Sundar as another member of the RCB squad who could cement his place in the Indian T20 team with consistent performances in IPL 2020.
"Washington Sundar, because if you want to move ahead and want to play regularly for the Indian team, then this is the platform that you need to capitalise."
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that the upcoming IPL would present the perfect opportunity for Navdeep Saini to emerge as the leader of the RCB seam bowling attack.
"Last but not the least, I am looking at a fast bowler - Navdeep Saini. We have seen till now that he has been very good when he has played with Bumrah and Bhuvi. But even at this young age, it is probably the time now to become the leader of the fast bowling pack for RCB."
Navdeep Saini had finished as the second-highest wicket-taker for RCB in IPL 2019, behind only Yuzvendra Chahal. The lanky pacer scalped 11 wickets last year at a decent economy rate of 8.27, and would be looking to better that performance in the upcoming edition of the IPL.
Published 13 Sep 2020, 10:45 IST