Royal Challengers Bangalore head coach Simon Katich has not ruled out the possibility of AB de Villiers keeping the wickets in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
While AB de Villiers is not to wicketkeeping, he does not keep the wickets in the IPL on a regular basis. Last year, Parthiv Patel was the designated wicketkeeper for the Bangalore-based outfit while the former South Africa skipper played as a specialist batsman.
In 2017, he had said that he was going to give up wicketkeeping to avoid injuries in an approach to prolong his career. However, Katich is not ruling out any possibility for the upcoming season as the franchise eyes its first-ever IPL title. The former Australia batsman said that everything will depend on finding the right balance for the conditions in UAE before he stated that AB de Villiers will play a huge role for the franchise.
“Obviously we’ve had a lot of discussions around the makeup of our team. AB has kept wickets in South Africa before so I’m sure that will be a topic for discussion. But what is the right balance in these conditions will also come into play. He’s got a huge role to play for us, given the number of performances over the years for RCB and South Africa,” Katich said about AB de Villiers.
“We know he’s a world-class performer and he’s had a fantastic tournament, where he led his team to a win in the 3TC competition. He’s coming in confident on the back of that and I’m sure, knowing his love for his franchise and playing with the players at RCB, he’s going to be excited by this prospect. We’ll see what happens with his job behind the stumps and with the bat,” Katich added.
In the previous auction, the Royal Challengers signed upcoming Australian wicket-keeper batsman Josh Philippe. But given the way Parthiv performed last year, it won’t be very surprising if the team start the tournament with him as the wicketkeeper in the team.
Royal Challengers Bangalore will be looking to end their title drought in the upcoming season. They have made it to the final of the competition thrice – 2009, 2011 and 2016 – but ended up on the wrong side of the result on every occasion. Their performance in the last few years has been a lot worse.
Since making it to the final in 2016, they have not managed to make it past the league stage. In last three seasons, they have finished at the bottom twice while on the other occasion, they finished at a lowly sixth spot in the eight-team competition.