3 changes which Virat Kohli needs to make: The Royal Challengers captain has plenty to ponder ahead of RCB’s next IPL 2019 match.
There is no going in a safe house regarding the certitude that the Indian Premier League is a great leveler for Virat Kohli. For a cricketer who dominates across formats and conditions at the highest level, watching him struggle to lead Royal Challengers Bangalore to a single victory in IPL 2019 is unequivocally upsetting.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have now joined Delhi Capitals (Delhi Daredevils in 2013) in the list of most consecutive losses at the start of IPL season. A loss in the next match against Kings XI Punjab at Mohali will see RCB as holders of the infamous record of most consecutive losses at the start of the season.
Not that Bangalore haven’t tinkered with their combination so far. They have to the extent that they fielded different opening combinations in their first four matches. With them needing to win at least seven out of eight matches in a bid to qualify, below are a few changes which might aid Kohli and his team this season.
3 changes which Virat Kohli needs to make for RCB to succeed in IPL 2019
Virat Kohli at No. 3?
RCB skipper started IPL 2019 with opening the batting alongside wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel. In the next two matches, Kohli dropped down to No. 3 only to again open the innings in the remaining three matches. Perhaps, RCB are missing a power-hitter in the powerplay, someone who can create an instant impact in the initial overs.
Among the Top 10 highest run-scorers in IPL 2019, Kohli’s strike rate of 126.08 is the third-lowest. His opening partner Patel (123.74) coming under him is where most of Bangalore’s problem lie in the batting department.
While there isn’t any better position to bat Patel than as an opener, Kohli has it in him to succeed in the given format at No. 3. Other than the move bolstering Bangalore’s middle-order, it will also not expose AB de Villiers at No. 3.
Include a third spinner?
Reading pitches before matches and selecting team combinations with respect to conditions hasn’t been Kohli forte. Knowing the fact that the Chinnaswamy surface is being conducive to spinners, Kohli could have played another one in Washington Sundar or Prayas Ray Burman.
Agreed that he already has three spinners in Yuzvendra Chahal, Pawan Negi and Moeen Ali in the squad, playing another one in place of Mohammed Siraj was more likely to work in his favour yesterday. While Siraj has picked five wickets in six matches, his economy rate of 8.58 goes in contrast to RCB’s prospects.
Overseas fast bowler letting RCB down
Having an overseas fast bowler is considered to be mandatory in IPL 2019. Among other teams, each one of them has at least one reliable overseas fast bowler. Injuries might have forced Chennai Super Kings to become an exception but they have Mahendra Singh Dhoni to lead them which pretty much solves the case for them.
In Tim Southee and Nathan Coulter-Nile, even RCB have a couple of overseas fast bowlers but reliability remains unanswered. While Southee didn’t get an opportunity in the first four matches, him conceding 85 runs in six overs in the next two matches have put his position under strict questioning.
Australia fast bowler Coulter-Nile not joining he squad till now has become a colossal concern for Royal Challengers’ in this department. Expected to join the squad by April 13, expect him to straightaway walk into the Playing XI. In what will be RCB’s last punt in IPL 2019, Coulter-Nile’s arrival in India will be mounted by expectations, some serious ones at that.