The reputed commentator responded that while everyone wants Virat Kohli to have an outstanding IPL, it would be difficult to replicate the performance of 2016 considering the volume of runs and number of centuries he had scored that year.
“We all want that Kohli’s season should be such that it becomes memorable, similar to what happened in 2016. But can it happen like that, it is difficult to say because more than 900 runs are not made, 4 centuries in one season are not scored, that is a reality.”
Aakash Chopra mentioned that although Virat Kohli may not be able to reach the level of IPL 2016, he is likely to have a good season as he would be hungry for runs coming back from a long break.
“So he may not be able to reach that level but I feel his season will be good as a batsman because he will be very hungry having not played cricket for such a long time. So the bowlers will be worried.”
Aakash Chopra added that the larger size of the UAE grounds would also suit the RCB captain’s game because of the greater importance of running between the wickets and boundaries compared to the huge sixes.
“The sort of grounds that are going to be there, you will need to run a lot and he is a super fit guy. You will have to make do with more fours than sixes, so there also he will be on top. So in my opinion he will have a very good IPL.”
Aakash Chopra on RCB’s prospects in this season of the IPL
Aakash Chopra observed that the RCB fans would be happier this year with their team likely to do well, especially their much-maligned bowling attack.
“But the RCB fans and Kohli fans will be more happy because I feel that this season will be good for RCB. Their bowling will be better than before and their batting will do good.”
The 42-year-old opined that the Bangalore-based franchise is likely to challenge for the top four positions this year rather than trying to avoid the bottom spot, which has been the norm for the last few seasons.
“Overall this season will be better than before. Earlier they used to fight for the wooden spoon but this year they will be in mid-table right from the beginning and they will challenge the top 4.”
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that RCB could make the playoffs this year as long as they pick the right playing XI for the conditions in the UAE.
“I feel this time, if they play a proper XI, this team can go ahead and they could be in the playoffs is what I feel.”
RCB are yet to win an IPL title, having finished as the runners-up on three occasions. They have endured a disastrous last three seasons, finishing last in 2017 and 2019 and sixth in the intervening year.
Published 21 Aug 2020, 12:25 IST