AB de Villiers has been shunned down the order for the franchise (PC: DNA)
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir is of the belief that Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are not getting the best out of AB de Villiers at the moment. The South African wicket-keeper batsman has been deployed as a finisher in the current batting order.
de Villiers was earlier used as a top order batsman primarily at No.3 with Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli facing the new ball. Over the years, his role has changed with the franchise and subsequently he has been demoted to No.6 upon the arrivals of Glenn Maxwell and other young Indian recruits.
For the past couple of games, the franchise has been experimenting with Daniel Christian at the No.3 spot, leaving de Villiers cemented with the finisher’s role. Gambhir notes that de Villiers should be used either as an opener or as a No.3 batsman by the franchise to get the best out of him. Speaking to ESPNCricinfo ahead of RCB’s clash against the Delhi Capitals (DC), Gambhir said:
“(On RCB under-utilizing de Villiers) Not only this season, for a lot of seasons. In fact I was of the opinion that he should open the batting or bat at No 3 for RCB. Batting AB de Villiers at No.6 makes no sense to me.”
Former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop also had the same opinion regarding de Villiers’ role with the franchise. In this regard, he said:
“I personally want to see him go early and take the game by the scruff of the neck. He’s been a fantastic player, so I would love to see him being utilized more.”
de Villiers has been used as a floater batsman in this edition, batting at various positions in the middle order, but he has primarily had to bat at No.5 or 6 to finish the innings.
RCB should not persist with Dan Christian, but they will: Gambhir
Help with slower deliveries on surfaces in the UAE has benefitted Daniel Christian but his batting has been a concern for the side with several options waiting on the sidelines as well.
Gambhir feels that ideally RCB should look for other options such as Sri Lankan duo Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga instead. Gambhir added:
“No, they should not persist with Daniel Christian, but they will. And the reason is because I don’t know, it has to be superstition. I would pick Hasaranga and Chameera instead,” Gambhir reasoned.
Ian Bishop also believes the three-time finalists can turn to the Sri Lankan duo instead of persisting with Christian. He added:
“I think it is an opportunity for Bangalore to see what Dushmantha Chameera or Wanindu Hasaranga can give you, if not both, in the final fixture.”
RCB will face DC in their final league fixture after having secured a playoff berth for the second successive campaign.