Following his impressive return as an opener in his eighth such T20I innings on Saturday, scoring his personal best of 80* from that position in the fifth and final T20I match against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Indian skipper Virat Kohli is now eager to open in the impending 14th season of the Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Kohli scored an unbeaten 80 off 52 balls, laced with seven boundaries and two sixes, as India amassed a colossal 224 for two batting first. Kohli's presence allowed Rohit Sharma to bat freely as the opener fired a 34-ball 64 before Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya too joined the party with their respective 30s.
Kohli feels that with a set middle-order lineup now, which will likely feature Hardik, Suryakumar, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, his presence as an opener will allow subsequent batters to play freely.
"I am going to open in the IPL as well. Have batted in different positions in the past. But I feel we have a solid middle-order now. Will definitely like to partner Rohit at the top. Other guys feel a lot more confident when one of us is still in and is set. Augurs well for the team," said Kohli in the post-match presentation.
Kohli has opened 18 times in IPL since 2018, scoring 595 runs at 37.2 with a strike rate of 142.3 with three centuries and a dot ball percentage of 29.4.
IPL 2021 begins from April 9 in Chennai with Kohli's RCB taking on Mumbai Indians in the season opener.