Virat Kohli will lead Royal Challengers Bangalore in their knockout clash vs Kolkata Knight Riders.© Instagram
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) take on Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 2021 Eliminator on Monday at Sharjah and the stakes are as high as it can be. Virat Kohli is leading RCB for the last season and he has a good chance to finally land the trophy for his beloved franchise. Kohli and his men were bundled out for a sub-100 total by KKR, the last time the two teams played. If asked to bat first Kohli will have to hold the fort for his team and lay a strong foundation in order to give the likes of Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers the launchpad that they need to go hammer and tongs in the death overs.
Former Kolkata Knight Riders captain and Kohli’s ex-Team India teammate Gautam Gambhir has spoken on what he feels should be Kohli’s approach as a batsman in this knock-out match. Gambhir, while speaking on ESPNCricinfo’s show “T20 TimeOut”, said that Kohli needs to play the sheet anchor’s role and try to bat till the 17th or 18th over. Gambhir highlighted Kohli’s ability to rotate the strike in middle-overs as a crucial aspect that could help RCB score big or do well in a chase.
“The platform is set for Virat Kohli, and he is a big match player. I would like to see Kohli not take too many risks in the first six overs. I feel if Kohli bats till the 17th or 18th over then the likes of Maxwell, de Villiers, Dan Christian and KS Bharat can play around him,” Gambhir said.
“Kohli will be the crucial cog for RCB if they are to set a target of 150 or 160 runs while batting first as he is the only player who can consistently rotate the strike in the middle-overs. RCB have the bowling attack to defend a total of around 155 to 160,” he added.
When asked about where AB de Villiers should bat, Gambhir said that the South African legend should come in at the number 5 slot.
“He should bat at number 5 as Maxwell needs to bat at number 4 because he is the in-form batter and KS Bharat has done well at number 3,” Gambhir said.
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