Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli confirmed last week that he would open the batting in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), but team director Mike Hesson has said that the idea of Kohli playing as an opener was discussed before the mini-auction in February. RCB is set to play the IPL 2021 opener against Mumbai Indians on April 9 in Chennai. “Certainly we talked about Virat opening the batting before the auction, because that came in our auction planning and how we wanted to structure our lineup,” said Hesson in a video posted on the official Twitter handle of RCB.
“Certainly, no surprise there, delighted that he got an opportunity to open for India the other day and showed everbody what he is capable of. We certainly know that, but it is just another reminder for everybody.
“Looking forward to Virat opening the batting with Devdutt Padikkal, left-right combination, obviously different types of players. We know Virat’s record after he gets through the powerplay, he is phenomenal,” he added.
Kohli had opened the batting for India in the fifth and final T20I against England last week.
In that match, he went on to play an unbeaten knock of 80 runs as the hosts triumphed over England in the five-match series.
After winning the fifth T20I, Virat had confirmed that he would be opening the batting for RCB in this year’s IPL. After the match, Kohli had said: “I am going to open in the IPL to keep all options open.
“I have batted at three, four and now I need to understand my role as an opener which I have done successfully in the past in T20 cricket so that I provide an option to open up a slot for someone like Surya (Suryakumar Yadav).
“If he can continue to bat like that, I should be open to playing any kind of role that the team requires me to. We will have a conversation about this when we get closer to the T20 World Cup. It would be interesting to see how I go about my job as an opener in the IPL.”
The final of the 14th edition of the tournament will be played on May 30 at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
One of the highlights of this edition of the IPL will be the fact that all matches will be played at neutral venues; no team will play at their home venue.
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