Former India opener, Virender Sehwag opines that the Royal Challengers Bangalore should consider the alternative of opening with Mohammed Azharuddeen, with skipper Virat Kohli going back to his number 3 position to strengthen the middle-order.
Sehwag’s suggestion comes after RCB suffered a 34-run loss to Punjab Kings on Friday in Ahmedabad. Chasing 180, the RCB top-order struggled for timing and placement scoring 62/1at the 10-over mark with both Virat Kohli and Rajat Patidar batting at close to run-a-ball.
The former opener recommends RCB should drop Patidar to bring in Mohammed Azharuddeen, who has emerged as a power-hitter in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where he played a whirlwind knock of 137 runs off just 54 balls for Kerala.
“I think Virat should come back to his original position of number three, and consider Mohammad Azharuddin 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,” Virender Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
“That would mean that you have three world-class players in the middle-order. If Devdutt Padikkal and Azharuddin don’t do the job at the top, then these three are capable enough to bail the side out of trouble,” he added.
Didn’t work today but Rajat’s a quality player: Virat Kohli
Rajat Patidar has been receiving plenty of flak for his 30-ball 31, as it delayed the arrival of Glenn Maxwell and Ab de Villiers. However, Virat Kohli, who, too, found it difficult to score quickly in his 34-ball stay for 35 runs, has thrown his weight behind the youngster.
The skipper reckons the two stalwarts will come higher if there is a big opening partnership and said Patidar is a quality player but had an off day.
“Maxi and AB at 4 and 5 has worked well for us, when there’s a partnership early, one of them will come higher. Didn’t work today but Rajat’s a quality player. A bit of a positive at the end, pulled things back nicely. Harshal and Jamo (Kyle Jamieson) struck a few at the end. A loss of 60-65 would’ve hurt more,” the 32-year-old skipper concluded.
RCB remains in the top 4 with 10 points; they will next meet Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday.