Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli has defended the decision of demoting AB de Villiers in the just-concluded clash against Kings XI Punjab. De Villiers surprisingly came out to bat at number six and failed to deliver as RCB lost the game by eight wickets.
Earlier this week on Monday, de Villiers had played a stunning knock off unbeaten 73 off just 33 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders. In that match, he had come out to bat at his usual position of number four. But against KXIP, RCB decided to hold him back after losing their openers inside seven overs.
Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube were promoted ahead of the former South Africa skipper but the move did not pay off. While Sundar scored 13 off 14 balls, Dube scored 23 off 19. AB de Villiers finally came out to bat in the 17th over but lasted for only five balls, managing 2.
Virat Kohli explains the reason:
Speaking at the end of the match, Virat Kohli defended the decision to send de Villiers out to bat at number six while also explaining the reason behind the same. The RCB skipper said the rationale behind it was to maintain the left-hand, right-hand combination.
“We had a chat, it (AB batting at no. 6) was a message about the left-hand, right-hand combination. Sometimes these decisions you take, don’t come off. But I think 170 was a decent score,” said Virat Kohli.
RCB finished their innings on 171 for 6 in the allotted 20 overs. They were looking set to finish below 160 after both de Villiers and Kohli departed in the 18th over when the score was 136. But Chris Morris played a fine cameo of 25 from just 8 balls to guide his side to a challenging total.
It, however, did not turn out to be a winning total as KXIP chased it down to register their second win of the season. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle scored fifties to guide their team to a much-needed win.