Virat Kohli, Bangalore, India, IPL 2018
Virat Kohli is set to be the fifth cricketer to play 150 matches in Indian T20 League © AFP

Bangalore captain Virat Kohli is all set to give up his opening slot and will bat at No. 3, a position he has made his own in the national team. The team has multiple opening options in Quinton de Kock, Brendon McCullum, Parthiv Patel, Mandeep Singh and Manan Vohra to name a few.

“In the past, it was more or less that I had to. I quite enjoyed that role. Predominantly, I will start at number three, having specialists at that order and that I have done well for Indian team at no 3.”

“I’ve a good understanding of playing at that position (No 3) and gives the team a lot of stability. I see myself starting there but it depends on who we playing against. But we are going to be flexible, adapting to different conditions,” Kohli was quoted by PTI on the eve of their Indian T20 League opener against Kolkata at the Eden Gardens.

Kohli scored 1,750 runs as an opener from 43 innings at an average of 53.03. Kohli is set to play his 150th match in Indian T20 League. He will be the fifth cricketer to the mark after Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik.

Strong bowling attack

Traditionally a batting-heavy unit, Bangalore have trimmed their star quotient — in letting go Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, KL Rahul and Kedar Jadhav — while bolstering their bowling attack in Chris Woakes, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Moeen Ali and Washington Sundar.

Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2018, preview: Virat Kohli and men’s best chance for title shot
Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2018, preview: Virat Kohli and men’s best chance for title shot

“It’s not going to be our batting versus Kolkata’s bowling. You will be surprised to see our bowling dominating in this IPL. It will be a pleasant surprise for everyone to see RCB’s bowling coming along nicely and not just relying on batting,” the 29-year-old said.

Author’s take

For Kohli, opening does make a lot of sense. If you are the best batsman in your side then you need to play most of the balls, especially in the shorter formats. However, in McCullum and de Kock, they have enough firepower at the start. Kohli has brilliant numbers at No.3 as well and along with AB de Villiers, he will be the spine of the batting. It’s a good call.

Bangalore have done a very good job in restructuring their bowling unit. In Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Pawan Negi, they have variety and quality spinners at the same time. They alos have a decent pace armoury in Umesh, Woakes and Southee.

(Inputs from PTI)