Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes Royal Challengers Bangalore should bat Glenn Maxwell and Washington Sundar ahead of their talisman AB de Villiers. RCB had opened the innings with Washington Sundar and Virat Kohli in the opening clash of the season against reigning champions Mumbai Indians whereas Glenn Maxwell had batted at number four.

RCB had pushed AB de Villiers at number five against MI and the talisman had provided the finishing touches as he had scored a quickfire knock of 48 runs from only 27 balls when the team was under the cosh. Irfan Pathan, who was recently tested positive for Covid-19, feels RCB should use AB as a finisher in the coming match as they had done against MI as he can bat anywhere in the line-up.

Pathan believes Sundar should bat at number three even if Devdutt Padikkal opens the innings and it will be an advantage if the former can score a little cameo of 25-30 runs. RCB’s director of cricket Mike Hesson has confirmed Padikkal will play against SRH.

“AB de Villiers is such a player who can play in the top order, the middle order and also as a brilliant and consistent finisher. So for that reason, RCB should play Maxwell higher up the batting order and hope that he plays fearlessly like in the first game,” said Irfan Pathan while speaking to ESPN Cricinfo.

“I would like to add another point that Washington Sundar should play in the top order consistently. Even after Devdutt Padikkal returns, play him at No. 3. We have been seeing RCB for so long and they always seem an Indian batsman short. So if Washington Sundar even scores 20-25 runs consistently then the rest of the batting order is very dangerous and they’ll get some firepower in the middle order,” he added.

Pathan added Maxwell can force the oppositions to alter their plans if he gets going in the middle-order. The Aussie had a decent start to his campaign as he had scored 39 runs off 28 balls against MI and had 52 runs with Virat Kohli.

“When a player of Maxwell’s calibre bats in the middle-order, he won’t take too much time. He is a busy contender and that puts the opposition under pressure to bring their main bowlers and their planning gets completely changed. So Maxwell playing at four is very crucial for RCB,” said Irfan Pathan.

RCB will take on SRH at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai today.