IPL 2020: ‘I will always support a team decision’ – AB de Villiers defends RCB’s decision to send him in at No. 6 against KXIP

AB de Villiers came in to bat at No. 6 in Royal Challengers Bangalore's against Kings XI Punjab.

AB de Villiers

Royal Challengers Bangalore‘s (RCB) AB de Villiers has come out in defense of a decision made by the team to send him in to bat at No. 6 during their loss to Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). RCB had won the toss and chosen to bat first in the match. They were cruising having scored 62 runs in 6.3 overs at the fall of two wickets.

The obvious and expected choice for the No.4 batsman would have been AB de Villiers who usually comes in at the position. But RCB decided to go with Washington Sundar and then Shivam Dube at No.5. Captain Virat Kohli would later explain that it was a decision made by the management considering that leg-spinners were bowling in tandem and that they wanted to keep a left-right combination.

The move ultimately backfired and RCB could only get to 171, a score that didn’t prove to be enough as KXIP chased it down off the last delivery.

‘A legitimate cricketing decision’ – de Villiers

AB de Villiers has come out in support of the RCB management for their decision despite it backfiring. He said, “At the outset, let me say I am a team man. If the coach and captain agree a strategy, I am not going to second guess them. I will always support them. That’s the way successful teams function.

“I was expecting to go in at No.4 as usual. In fact, when the second wicket fell, with our score 62 for two in the sixth over, I started to make my way through the gate that leads out to the wicket. At that precise moment, I was asked to wait because the coach and captain had decided to send out left-handers to face the two KXIP leg-spinners, who were bowling at the time,” he added.

“That was a legitimate cricketing decision. Teams all around the world often prefer left-handed batsmen to face leg-spin bowling. I did not question the call at the time it was made, and I do not question the call now. There is absolutely no problem from my side,” the South African clarified.

For my part, I am eager and willing to bat wherever and whenever the team needs me, and to help RCB advance our campaign to realise our potential and win this league,” he signed off.

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