Mike Hesson, former New Zealand coach and current Director of Operations at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has finally spoken on the possible opening combination for IPL 2020.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have one of the most balanced squads and plenty of players to ponder upon for the opening slot in IPL 2020. Among the overseas cricketers for the openers job, the Men in Red have the comfort of Aaron Finch, Josh Philippe, and even Moeen Ali who could be sent up the order for blistering exhibitions in the powerplay.
Among the Indian cricketers, skipper Virat Kohli has been highly successful as an opener, while there is an experienced Parthiv Patel and a rising local talent in Devdutt Padikkal.
But, the major debate that has been circling across the social media channels is whether Virat Kohli or Aaron Finch would don the role of the opener in the forthcoming edition of IPL.
The former Kiwi coach was asked in an interaction off late regarding the opening strategy that RCB might opt for the upcoming season to which he denied revealing any details prior to the contests.
“It’s really interesting, I did a couple of hours of the press conference but never talked about where Virat is batting or where Aaron Finch is going to bat or they’re opening the bat together. In reality, from a director or coach point of view, we wouldn’t want to tell anybody exactly what our line-up is because that’s our strategy,” said Hesson.
We want to keep our opposition guessing: Mike Hesson
As an opener in IPL, Aaron Finch has aggregated 1066 runs under his belt, averages 28.81, and has struck 9 fifties.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli, who usually bats at No 3 in international limited-overs contests, has staggering numbers at the opening slot in IPL. In 60 innings, he has amassed 2339 runs at an average of 48.73, a strike rate of 140.40, with 5 centuries and 15 half-centuries.
Parthiv Patel, who has played 116 IPL innings as opener and struck 13 fifties, could also be pondered upon to maintain left hand-right hand combination, as was the case last season.
Then there’s Karnataka cricketer Devdutt Padikall, who was one of the highest run-getters in the domestic limited overs tournaments held in the 2019-20 season – Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, who could be vouched as a potential candidate for the opening slot.
With few weeks remaining before IPL 2020 commences amidst the conditions of UAE, the fans have gone frenzy over the opening combinations and the probable playing XI for the Kohli-led unit. However, Mike Hesson has made his intentions clear as to why the Bangalore-based franchise is keeping it a secret.
“We want to keep some of those things up our sleeves in terms of where we use players. We know we are going to be asked many questions about who is going to bat where. You just have to wait. We are well aware of what we want, but also we want to keep our opposition guessing,” added the former Blackcaps coach.