IPL 2018: Virat Kohli set to give up opening slot for Royal Challengers Bangalore, will bat No 3

"Predominantly, I will start at number three, having specialists at that order and that I have done well for Indian team at No 3," Kohli said.

PTI, Apr 07, 2018 22:06:14 IST

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli is all set to give up his opening slot and will bat at No 3, a position he has made his own in the national team.

RCB has multiple opening options in Quinton de Kock, Brendon McCullum, Parthiv Patel, Mandeep Singh and Manan Vohra to name a few.

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli in action in IPL 2017. AFP

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli in action in IPL 2017. AFP

"In the past, it was more or less that I had to. I quite enjoyed that role. Predominantly, I will start at number three, having specialists at that order and that I have done well for Indian team at no 3."

"I've a good understanding of playing at that position (No 3) and gives the team a lot of stability. I see myself starting there but it depends on who we playing against. But we are going to be flexible, adapting to different conditions," Kohli added on the eve of their IPL opener against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden Gardens.

Kohli scored 1,750 runs as an opener from 43 innings at an average of 53.03.

Traditionally a batting-heavy unit, RCB have trimmed their star quotient — in letting go Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, KL Rahul and Kedar Jadhav — while bolstering their bowling attack in Chris Woakes, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Moeen Ali and Washington Sundar.

"It's not going to be RCB batting versus KKR bowling. You will be surprised to see our bowling dominating in this IPL. It will be a pleasant surprise for everyone to see RCB's bowling coming along nicely and not just relying on batting," the 29-year-old said.

On their decision to let go Chris Gayle, he said, "Taking nothing away from Chris, we decided to go in with the balance that can sustain in the next three years. We did not want to be relying on 2-3 people all the time and those were few reasons behind it."

RCB were shot out for their lowest ever score of 49 and Kohli said they have put it behind immediately after the match.

"We don't have bad records here. It was just a one off game we had here. It was bizarre, very rarely you get out for 49 with that kind of batting."

KKR will have a new skipper in Dinesh Karthik and Kohli hailed the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman.

"I am very happy for him that he has been given this responsibility. He has got really good cricketing brain. I am sure he will do a good job for KKR," Kohli said.

Looking forward to embrace the challenge, Karthik on his part said, "I will be looking to stay as calm as I can. Lot of times I am sure I will be put under the pump and I have to be able to react in a calm manner without getting too emotional about it."

Karthik's last-ball six in his eight-ball 29 not-out had sealed a thrilling chase against Bangladesh in the T20 tri-nation final in Colombo last month.

"That's a good takeaway for me from that game. It gives me a lot of confidence in my batting skills. It's important that I keep using that as an experience where I can propel to do better things in the future," Karthik said.

Updated Date: Apr 07, 2018 22:06:14 IST

World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
Australia 5 4 1 0 8
New Zealand 4 3 0 1 7
India 4 3 0 1 7
England 4 3 1 0 6
Bangladesh 5 2 2 1 5
Sri Lanka 5 1 2 2 4
West Indies 5 1 3 1 3
South Africa 5 1 3 1 3
Pakistan 5 1 3 1 3
Afghanistan 4 0 4 0 0

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
6 Pakistan 4107 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254