Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Should RCB promote AB de Villiers in the batting order?

AB de Villiers has been an exceptional finisher but RCB need some solidity in their batting at the top © PTI
AB de Villiers has been an exceptional finisher but RCB need some solidity in their batting at the top © PTI

Should Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) consider promoting AB de Villiers in their batting order for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014? Nishad Pai Vaidya delves into the question.

It required AB de Villiers’ magic to resurrect Bangalore and pull off a thrilling victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. After a collapse at the top, the South African took control of the run-chase and saw it through the end with a well-timed assault. However, it did cover-up for Bangalore’s top order issues, something that has been hurting them in the last few games. The top order has been very shaky and it hasn’t done them any good with wickets falling in a heap upfront. You are not going to have a de Villiers special in every game to rescue you.

Consider the scores at which Bangalore lost their first four wickets in the last three games in IPL 7:  5, 26 and 59. Chris Gayle’s addition has certainly strengthened their batting, but they still tend to lose wickets at a go. In his two games so far, Gayle has essayed blitzes only to see wickets fall in no time. What this does is that it breaks the momentum of an innings, however well Gayle has played. The middle order comes under tremendous pressure and that doesn’t do them any good.

So, what should Bangalore do to their batting order for the rest of the IPL 2014? There have been too many changes in the last few games. It is only the top three that hasn’t changed. Gayle opens the batting with Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli comes in at No 3. It is at No 4 where they have made the changes with Rilee Rossouw and Yogesh Takawale walking in place of Yuvraj Singh. In fact, during the last game, they pushed Yuvraj to No 5 and de Villiers to 6 as Rossouw came in at No 4.

There has been a lot of talk about getting de Villiers in early in the innings. In fact, even during the ICC World T20 2014, there was a lot of talk about South Africa keeping him lower down the order. As your best batsman, you need him up front and face as many deliveries as possible. At least, that is what logic would dictate. But, du Plessis say an interesting thing that Bangalore may have kept in mind. “Statistically we have seen that AB is at his best when he comes into bat after 10 overs in the innings. When he has come out to bat earlier, it has not been that good,” du Plessis said after South Africa’s semi-final exit.

Bangalore have the finishing role for de Villiers in the IPL. He is dependable and can calmly guide one through to the finish. You need someone to absorb the pressure lower down the order and de Villiers is the man. It is just like what Brad Hodge does for Rajasthan Royals. Being amongst the most experienced T20 cricketers in the world, one would have expected him to bat in the top four at least. But, Rajasthan bank on Hodge’s experience in the middle so that they can finish games.

In T20 cricket, it isn’t so much about 50s, as much as it is about those effective knocks. Even a quickfire 20 can win you a game at the end. A quick burst can turn the tide in your favour and men like de Villiers are the best for the job. That is why, one can see that there is a sound strategy in keeping de Villiers for later as he can give that much needed calm and the dash to the middle.

At the same time, there are concerns over the No 4 spot for Bangalore and the instability there may persuade them to send de Villiers in early. They need to settle that spot quickly as that can cause problems for them. Shuffling Yuvraj around isn’t helping and although he isn’t in the best touch, he needs a clear role for himself for the rest of the IPL 2014.

Bangalore have finally have had that one victory in the IPL 7 that can lift the morale of the side and pump in belief. De Villiers was the catalyst and it is time the top order comes to the party.

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Sydney

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

PCB’s biggest challenge is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan: Subhan Ahmad

Tim Southee’s 50 Test sixes and related records

India vs Australia 2014: India may have heavy dose of pace in store in 1st Test

Ross Taylor’s crucial knock against Pakistan will boost his sub-par subcontinent record

Stuart Binny — can the all-rounder be a trump card for India in ODIs?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014

India need runs to challenge Australia: Sourav Ganguly

Mohammad Asif asks Rameez Raja not to criticise banned trio

Sourav Ganguly: Captaincy is not an easy task

R Vinay Kumar thanks BCCI and fans after receiving Lala Amarnath Award

India’s fortunes in Australia depend on batsmen: Rahul Dravid

Rohit Sharma: India are serious contenders

South Africa may lose momentum ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Has Umesh Yadav cemented his place in India’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

The Melbourne Cricket Club is formed

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Sabbir Rahman fires explosive 44 on debut

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here