Virat Kohli likely to open with Aaron Finch for RCB

The RCB coach has made hints that the skipper Virat Kohli is about to open along with the veteran Aussie opening batsman Aaron Finch for this IPL edition.

There are always certain suggestions regarding the openers of RCB, as the team in red is popularly known for their domination in batting.

The openers of RCB have been the key to their big scores under the franchise so far. The new ball hitters of Bangalore have always had the habit of setting up the platform to go for high scoring games.

It all started when RCB had Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan as their openers in their 2011 edition. Initially, it was the particular aggressive opening pair that showcased how productive a team can be in the powerplay overs.

From then, the legacy of aggression in starting overs is carried on for RCB. When Tillakaratne Dilshan was dropped from the side, the skipper himself stepped in to open alongside Chris Gayle, and that decision paved the way for Virat to experiment with his lofted strokes, and it fetched better results for him.

The opening pair Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle, have a different fan base because of the mixture of class and mass way of approach. When Chris Gayle was transferred to Kings XI Punjab, RCB went on with the impish Gujarati opener Parthiv Patel. The wicket-keeper batsman has never missed entertaining with his powerplay cameos. And he got himself adapted with the extraordinarily groomed power in the other end, Virat Kohli. Both had different games but went well as partners. Virat, at times, has found it extremely comfortable when Parthiv at the other end makes the blistering knocks during the powerplay overs. Eventually, it helped the RCB skipper to spend more time on the pitches.

It all went in a good flow until the mini-auction that happened for the 2020 edition. RCB went on to buy Aaron Finch of Australia for 4.40 cr, known for his brawny batting nature and his power numbers in this game format. Right after Finch is picked up, the debate has started about the opening pair of RCB for this edition. It was said that Aaron Finch and Parthiv Patel might open. Then what about Virat Kohli? Will he push himself down to bat at No.3?

But the latest statement of the director of RCB, Mike Hesson is

It’s really interesting because I did a couple of hours of press conferences yesterday, and never ever talked about (where) Virat will bat or where Aaron Finch is going to bat. And apparently, (now) they’re both batting together!”

With the talks of the opening partnership going on in such a way, the coach of RCB, Simon Katich, is thinking of a rookie left-hander from Karnataka for the opening slot.

“We’ve been watching Devdutt Padikkal a lot. The fact that he’s a left-hander helps as well — we do like to have right-left combinations. He’s done everything he can to put his hand up to make his IPL debut this year. It’s now up to him to push his case forward. He’s got a bright future. We’re excited by what he can potentially do.”

Looking at the officials’ comment on the spot, one thing is clear: the name of Parthiv Patel wasn’t discussed anywhere, and with AB De Villiers sporting the wicket keeping gloves during RCB’s practice sessions, it is sure that Parthiv Patel won’t be a choice for the starting games for RCB.

There are only two options for the opening slot- Aaron Finch and Virat Kohli or Aaron Finch and Devdutt Padikkal. With the hints given by Mike Hesson, the probability is higher for Aaron Finch and Virat Kohli duo to step in to face the new ball for RCB. If so, it could be helpful for Padikkal to primarily get used to the competitive IPL conditions by observing the initial games.