AB de Villiers came down the order and scored just two runs.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were up against the wooden spooners Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in a reverse clash on October 15 (Thursday) at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Winning the toss, the RCB skipper Virat Kohli elected to bat first. Though the opening pair of Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch failed to stay on the field for a long period, they managed to give a decent start to their team with 62 runs within 6 overs.
After Murugan Ashwin bowled out Finch, the audience was eager to see the exploits of Mr. 360 of cricket, AB de Villiers on the pitch of Sharjah. In RCB’s previous outing against KKR in the same venue, AB had played a sensational knock of 73 off 33 runs which had resulted in the team winning its fifth match in the IPL 2020 campaign.
Contrary to everyone’s expectations, left-handed all-rounder, Washington Sundar walked out to support Kohli. Sundar struggled to get the big shots out and he eventually got out for a 14-ball 13. There was no sign of AB de Villiers still as Shivam Dube came in at No. 5. The left-hander hit two big sixes but he perished for 23 off 19 balls.
Finally, when De Villiers came to bat at No. 6, RCB was reeling at the score of 127 for 4 in 16 overs. AB failed to make an impact as he was dismissed for 2 off 5 balls in the 18th over. Two balls later, Virat Kohli also walked back as well, missing his fifty by two runs.
This resulted in RCB struggling to reach a score of 150 too in the 20-overs game. However, Chris Morris’ 8-ball 25 and Udana’s 5-ball 10 helped the Men in Red and Gold to reach a decent score of 171. But this was not enough as the exploits of KL Rahul and Chris Gayle along with a quickfire innings by Mayank Agarwal helped Punjab in winning the game by 8 wickets.
Washington Sundar hasn’t proved his batting exploits: Virender Sehwag
Many felt that the reason for RCB losing the game was the demotion of AB de Villiers in the batting-order. Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag holds the same view as he isn’t able to comprehend Virat Kohli’s explanation for sending AB de Villiers to bat after the likes of Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube. Notably, in the post-match presentation, Kolhi had said that the team wanted to try a left-right combination for further matches.
Baffled by this shuffling in RCB’s batting line-up, Virender Sehwag told Cricbuzz, “AB de Villiers is someone who had hit 73 from 33 balls in the previous game at this same ground. If you had given him more balls, there are chances he might have scored more runs.”
“If you’re saying, right-left combination, then when Devdutt Padikkal got out, Virat Kohli came in. Then you didn’t think about the right-left combination? Why didn’t you send Washington Sundar at No.3? I am not able to understand this,” he added.
He also questioned the batting abilities of Washington Sundar saying that Sundar can’t be trusted for batting at Number 4 as he is yet to prove himself in the Indian Premier League.
“In trying to get a left-right combination going, RCB haven’t sent one of their best batsmen out. I am not able to understand this. Who was that left-hander? Washington Sundar? He might be a very good player but he hasn’t proved his batting exploits. He has shown his six-hitting abilities like a Chris Gayle or a Yuvraj Singh,” Sehwag concluded.