Despite the Royal Challengers Bangalore registering 5 wins in 7 games, and looking set for a playoff berth, when the IPL 2021 resumes, Aakash Chopra has observed a couple of concerns for the Virat Kohli-led outfit so far in the season.
Firstly, the former India opener laments the lack of wickets of Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal. The 0ff-spinner picked just 3 wickets in 6 matches and the leg-spinner could manage 4 scalps in 7 matches.
Aakash Chopra opines that Sundar was under-utilized by Kohli – Sundar completed his quota of 4 overs in only 2 games, and in spite of being renowned as a powerplay specialist, he delivered just 3 overs in the powerplay in 6 matches.
“I feel RCB did not utilize Washington Sundar properly as a bowler. You can get him to bowl more but you are not doing that. Yuzvendra Chahal’s form was a concern. He took just a couple wickets in the season till now. If he is not taking wickets and you are giving him less bowling, that’s not going to work for RCB in the long run,” Aakash Chopra said in his YouTube video.
RCB’s batting is not weak but lacks depth: Aakash Chopra
The second aspect which Aakash Chopra feels Kohli and management should ponder about is the lack of batting depth.
While he reckons with the form of Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers in the middle-order the batting strong, however, there is no proper finisher at number 6 and 7 – the same was exposed against Punjab Kings when the trio of Kohli, Maxwell, and de Villiers got out in succession.
RCB has tried several all-rounders – Sundar, Daniel Sams, Kyle Jamieson, Daniel Christian, Shahbaz Ahmed – in those two positions but no one could gain any significant amount of trust with the bat.
“RCB’s batting is not weak but lacks depth. Kohli and Devdutt open, you played Rajat, Shahbaz or Washi at No.3 just to lengthen the batting. After that Maxwell at No.4 and AB de Villiers at No.5. But who at No.6?”
“They did not have a batsman at No.6. Sometimes you played Daniel Sams, sometimes Daniel Christian or played Washi down the order. If a team does have batting at No.6 and No.7, there is a lot of pressure on the top five. Till now they have managed, but I do see it as a weak link,” concluded the former batsman.