IPL 2022 is all set to begin inside a few upcoming weeks. With the addition of two mountains to the leagues, the overall popularity of the tournament has surely increased by a great amount. Among all the excitement and joy after the player auctions of IPL 2022, there are several discussions that are taking place everywhere in regard to the various player combinations that different franchises are going to adhere to.
Among all these combinations, the most significant T-20 format without a doubt is “THE OPENING PAIR”. It is the opening pair that sets the tone of an innings, thereby providing the batsmen lower down the order with a perfect platform to continue with. And opening batsman is the one who gets an opportunity to bat all the 20 hours and make the most of the time he gets.
Thus a good opening stand is indispensable to almost any team in the world. Every team shall be looking to finalise a good solid opening pair for themselves before the tournament commences. So is the case with the Royal Challengers Bangalore who’ve already done a really good job by building a strong squad in the auctions and are thus being referred to as the “Ultimate Batting Powerhouse” this season.
A team with such a lot of brilliant batting options would definitely be looking to find themselves a good opening prayer for this season. Thanks to their brilliant auctioning of players, they have provided themselves with a wide range of players who can fill in the spot of openers i.e the No.1 and No.2 position in the batting order.
Given below are three of the most probable opening pairs one of which shall be used by Royal Challengers Bangalore in this year’s IPL:-
1. Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli
The first and the most likely opening pair for RCB in this year’s IPL is going to be Faf du Plessis with Virat Kohli. Once Royal Challengers Bangalore had agreed to a 7 crore bid for Faf du Plessis, it was pretty clear that he would be the most probable opening option for the franchise in this year’s IPL.
The South African batsman though 37 now has shown no signs of slowing down as he’s been continuously delivering thunderous performance in white-ball cricket regularly. In addition to this his good recent IPL form in the past few seasons with his former franchise, the Chennai Super Kings is a reason to smile about for the Roya Challengers.
While on the other hand Virat Kohli who has been a part of the franchise right since the beginning of the IPL in 2008 cell without a doubt be a perfect match for an opening option for his side. His experience and brilliant performance opening the batting in the past could be e useful to RCB. Thus the Virat-Faf duo is likely to go all guns blazing this season if they find an opportunity to open the batting together.
Faf du Plessis (IPL career stats):-
Matches – 100, Runs – 2935, Average – 34.9, Strike Rate – 131.1
Virat Kohli (IPL career stats):-
Matches – 207, Runs – 6283, Average – 37.4, Strike Rate – 129.9
2. Faf du Plessis and Finn Allen
Another probability is that Faf du Plessis will be accompanied by a newly auctioned Finn Allen to open the batting for RCB this season.
A destructive limited over batsman, Finn Allen is a 21-year-old, highly talented youngster from New Zealand. He made his debut at the international level last year and has displayed tremendous performance since then. His ability to play attacking strokes right from the early stages of an innings had earned him a unique frame in the domestic stages of his career.
His highest strike rate and fearless batting will really be good enough to assist and inform du Plessis at the top of the order. RCB are sure to have a good grasp on the game against any opposition if they use an opening pair as explosive as this one.
Finn Allen (All T20 matches stats):-
Matches – 43, Runs – 1372, Average – 34.3, Strike Rate – 179.3.
3. Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell
Another possible option that RCB could avail is to bring their hard-hitting middle-order batsman Glenn Maxwell up in the order all the way to open the batting with Faf du Plessis.
The plan seems pretty much likely considering the fact that Glenn Maxwell has been in magical form this season in the Big Bash League for the Melbourne Stars. He’s managed to play with a greater amount of freedom when he is been promoted higher up the order where he could get more overs to bat.
His maiden hundred in the Big Bash League this season is a perfect example to explain the above statement. The explosive start provided by Maxwell and Faf du Plessis right from ball one can possibly be too much to handle for any opposition bowling line up thereby providing RCB with the edge over others in the tournament.
Glenn Maxwell (IPL career stats):-
Matches – 97, Runs – 2018, Average – 25.2, Strike Rate -151.8
Our Prediction: Although all of the above-mentioned options are viable pairs that Royal Challengers Bangalore could consider as their possible opening partnership, we particularly think that the Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli duo will end up opening the innings for them.
Till last year, Virat Kohli used to open their innings alongside Devdutt Padikkal. With the youngster now gone, it has left a vacant spot up the order and it will probably be filled by Faf du Plessis only. Du Plessis has played as an opener almost throughout his life and although Virat Kohli is not a genuine opener, he likes to open in the Indian Premier League for RCB.
Given the fact that none of the other batters in the RCB squad have prior experience as an opener, Virat Kohli fits much more in the position than others. Although he is no more the captain of RCB, he will definitely want to take up that responsibility and thus we think that RCB’s opening partnership will be between Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli.