Virender Sehwag, the former dashing opener of India could not quite comprehend Royal Challengers Bangalore’s decision to send in-form former South African batsman AB de Villiers at No. 6 and not at No. 4 as the likes of Washington Sundar, and Shivam Dube batted ahead of the veteran former Proteas batsman.
In the match between RCB and Kings XI Punjab, several eyebrows were lifted when fans saw after Aaron Finch‘s dismissal, all-rounder Washington Sundar was walking into the crease ahead of AB de Villiers, who scored an unbeaten 73 off 33 balls in the same ground at Sharjah against Kolkata Knight Riders just three days earlier.
Virender Sehwag: AB de Villiers Might Have Scored More Runs If He Had Played More Balls
His knock against KKR saw five fours and six sixes as RCB won. The next match at Sharjah was between KXIP and RCB and the batsman who is also the wicket-keeper walked in after all-rounder Shivam Dube was out in the 16th over when RCB scored 127/4.
AB de Villiers could score only two runs off five balls, but Chris Morris produced the much-needed fireworks by scoring an unbeaten 25 runs off eight balls. Both AB de Villiers and skipper Virat Kohli, who scored 48, fell within two balls adding two runs in the 18th over. The last over of RCB’s innings saw 24 runs as RCB managed 171/6.
“AB de Villiers is someone who had hit 73 from 33 balls in the previous game at this same ground. If you had given him more balls, there are chances he might have scored more runs,” Sewag told Cribuzz.
“If you’re saying, right-left combination, then when Devdutt Padikkal got out, Virat Kohli came in. Then you didn’t think about the right-left combination? Why didn’t you send Washington Sundar at No.3? I am not able to understand this.”
“In trying to get a left-right combination going, RCB haven’t sent one of their best batsmen out. I am not able to understand this. Who was that left-hander? Washington Sundar? He might be a very good player but he hasn’t proved his batting exploits. He hasn’t shown his six-hitting abilities like a Chris Gayle or a Yuvraj Singh,” Sehwag said.
In reply, KXIP batsmen led by skipper KL Rahul, who remained unbeaten on 61, fired and was supported by Mayank Agarwal and fit again Chris Gayle. While the former scored 45, the latter was run out on the penultimate ball after scoring 53. Coming to face only the final ball of the match, Nicholas Pooran hit a sixer to hand over KXIP an 8-wicket win.
Virender Sehwag was surprised by RCB’s decision to send Washington Sundar ahead of AB de Villiers which was a wrong move and probably costed the match for RCB who looked to score beyond 180 after being 62/2 in only the 6.3 overs when Washington Sundar walked in.
AB de Villiers Was Sent At No. 6 For Left Hand-Right Hand Combination: Virat Kohli
Washington Sundar, who is known for his miserly bowling more than batting, was sent ahead of AB De Villiers but scored only 13 off 14 balls. In IPL career, he averages only 14.5 in batting. Shivam Dube who averages 20.28 in batting scored 23 off 19 balls.
Virat Kohli had defended RCB’s decision to send AB de Villiers at No. 6, saying: “We had a chat, it (de Villiers batting at no. 6) was a message about the left-hand, right-hand combination. Sometimes these decisions you take, don’t come off.”
Both Shivam Dube and Washington Sundar are left-handed batsmen and were sent ahead of right-handed AB de Villiers who averages 40.21 in 162 IPL matches so far. The batsman has also donned wicketkeeping duties and has scored 230 runs in eight matches averaging 46 and has hit three half-centuries so far in the IPL 2020.