Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), on Sunday, teased fans with a picture of AB de Villiers from his wicketkeeping drill during the players’ practice session in Dubai.
Fans were left guessing as soon as the image was uploaded on social media with some welcoming RCB’s idea, while others feared the position of regular keeper Parthiv Patel in the final XI.
“We think that this is something you’ve all been waiting to see! #PlayBold #IPL2020 #WeAreChallengers,” RCB captioned their post.
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) August 30, 2020
Most fans felt that if De Villiers takes over the keeping duties, then it could balance the Challengers playing XI and allow youngster Devdutt Padikkal to be part of the top-order lineup.
wow superb then padikkal is in playing 11 yess👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻🤗🤗🤗😍😍😍 and we also need isuru udana in playing 11 he is a t20 specialist bowler
— Niranjan (@Niranjan_cric) August 30, 2020
good to see that now we are capable of playing one more batsman
— Divyansh (@Divyansh_jain16) August 30, 2020
ABD is doing Wicket keeping this year , that's great for team balance
♥️🔥💪 Only RCB pic.twitter.com/MPDFfzWa5q
— Sonu✨#Sana Stan (@isonubhoir) August 30, 2020
Meanwhile, few were left worried about Parthiv’s spot in the playing XI as he usually plays as a keeper-opener for Virat Kohli-led side and has proven his mettle in the past.
Le parthiv patel* pic.twitter.com/39MaGMqU9L
— Yash Patil (@yashkabmilega) August 30, 2020
But this move might backfire as ABD being a makeshift wicketkeeper may find it difficult to keep wickets for 20 overs in UAE heat and then bat at 4.Remember his age and that he is no longer an active cricketer in International circuit. He might get injured.
— Soham Sengupta (@SohamSe20332965) August 30, 2020
Katich hints at ABD keeping wickets for RCB
Meanwhile, RCB head coach Simon Katich said everything will depend on finding the right balance for the conditions in UAE. He also stated that De Villiers will play a huge role for the franchise.
“Obviously we’ve had a lot of discussions around the makeup of our team. AB has kept wickets in South Africa before so I’m sure that will be a topic for discussion. But what is the right balance in these conditions will also come into play. He’s got a huge role to play for us, given the number of performances over the years for RCB and South Africa,” Katich said about AB de Villiers.
“We know he’s a world-class performer and he’s had a fantastic tournament, where he led his team to a win in the 3TC competition. He’s coming in confident on the back of that and I’m sure, knowing his love for his franchise and playing with the players at RCB, he’s going to be excited by this prospect. We’ll see what happens with his job behind the stumps and with the bat,” Katich added.
IPL 2020 will set to begin from September 19 in the UAE, although the complete schedule is yet to be announced.
RCB will be chasing their first title once again. They have reached the final thrice, 2016 being the last, but have since slumped low in each of their last three seasons.