Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have qualified for the playoff stage in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL 2021). The Virat Kohli-led RCB had a disappointing start to the UAE leg of the tournament, as they lost their first three games since the resumption. However, the side has since made a terrific comeback, winning the next three on the trot to book a berth in the playoffs.
With 16 points in twelve games, Bangalore comfortably sit at the third position in the IPL 2021 table. They will, however, eye on taking advantage of CSK’s recent slip-ups and pose a challenge for the second spot.
However, the game also provides Kohli with an opportunity to take some rest – and at the same time – allow RCB to have a peek into the future by having a new face for the leadership role (Kohli had confirmed last month that he would be stepping down as RCB captain after IPL 2021).
Virat Kohli in IPL 2021
Kohli has played in all of RCB's matches this season so far. In 12 games, the 32-year-old has scored 357 runs with a strike rate of 121.42.
In UAE, he played six games, scoring 159 runs with an almost similar strike rate (121.37).
|Matches (in UAE)||Runs||Average||Strike Rate|
Kohli has been on the road ever since July this year, when Team India regrouped following the WTC Final against New Zealand. Since then, the Indian captain has led the side in four Tests against England and immediately joined the bio-secure bubble in the UAE for IPL 2021.
With India's T20 World Cup campaign starting merely a week after the completion of IPL, it might be prudent for the RCB captain to rest for the game against SRH, as it remains inconsequential as far as the playoff qualification scenarios are concerned.
New RCB captain
On September 19, the RCB posted a video message from Virat Kohli where the legendary Indian batsman confirmed that he would be stepping down as the captain of the franchise after the current season. He also said that he would be staying with RCB.
Even as the teams will go into a mega-auction ahead of the 2022 edition of the tournament, the game against SRH is a perfect platform for RCB to experiment with their leadership. The RCB boast a nice blend of players with international experience (AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell and Yuzvendra Chahal) and domestic talent (Devdutt Padikkal), which gives the team management a variety of options for the captaincy role.