Indian skipper Virat Kohli is the highest run getter in the league. He has scored more than 6000 runs in the IPL in 14 editions of the tournament. The Run Machine has consistently performed for his side RCB in the IPL since its inaugural season. He also holds the record of scoring the most number of runs in a season. He won the orange cap in that year as he scored 973 runs in 16 games at an average of 81.08. In 2021, Kohli scored 405 runs in 15 matches at a strike rate of about 119.46. But prior to the second leg of the tournament, Kohli made an announcement that he will no longer be leading the side but will continue to play as a player for RCB.
Kohli was one of the three players RCB retained ahead of the mega auctions. Kohli who was bought for INR 12 lakhs in the inaugural edition of the tournament took home INR 15 crore in IPL 2022.
However, RCB have let go a lot of players including the likes of Devdutt Padikkal, Harshal Patel, Navdeep Saini etc. AB De Villiers who has retired from all forms of the game will also be missed this season. Therefore, there’s a chance that Virat Kohli might demote himself and come to bat at No.3 in order to strengthen the top order.
Here is a list of three players who are likely to open the innings along with Virat Kohli:
1) Devdutt Padikkal
The Karnataka based cricketer has been a consistent performer for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the past couple of years. He made his debut in 2020 where he managed to end the season with a total of 473 runs in 15 games at an average of 31.53. Padikkal was given the award for the Emerging Player of the Season. In the following season he scored 400+ runs for his side. He scored his first IPL hundred in 2021 against Rajasthan Royals.
The 21 year old has formed a great duo with Virat Kohli. The duo has done wonders in the past few seasons and RCB will be looking forward to acquiring his services.
2) David Warner
RCB are in search of a fierce leader after Virat Kohli made up his mind to step down as the captain of the team from the upcoming season. On the other hand, David Warner has parted ways with SRH. Warner is the first overseas player to score more than 5000+ runs in the league and the fourth overall. Warner was the highest run getter in the ICC T20 World Cup in UAE. Warner fits into all the requirements of RCB from being an explosive left hand batsmen to a great fielder and most importantly a great leader.
3) Jonny Bairstow
The Englishman is an explosive right handed batsman who can also go behind the stumps for RCB. After the departure of AB De Villiers, RCB are in search of a wicket-keeper as well. Bairstow is an aggressive opener who can give the team some great start to the innings. In his first season with the orange army, Bairstow managed to score 445 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 157.24. He also scored his first IPL ton against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The 32 year old fulfils all the requirements for RCB and he will be the perfect option for the Royals who are yet to win the league.