One of the favourites for the title this season, Royal Challengers Bangalore have taken another big hit with Indian opener KL Rahul being sidelined for the entire season, due to injury. RCB already have had Aussie pacer Mitchell Starc pull out due to injury and skipper Virat Kohli too is expected to be unavailable for the first few weeks of the T20 tournament.
Sources within the team revealed that KL Rahul will soon be travelling to London to undergo surgery on his left shoulder that he had injured during the Pune Test against Australia.
The news comes on the heels of RCB naming AB de Villiers as the likely replacement for Virat Kohli as the skipper of the team. A final call is expected to be taken on 2 April when both players join the camp.
Daniel Vettori, Coach-RCBRight now, we don’t have a clear picture on his(Virat’s) availability. We will know in the next few days. The likely scenario is that AB de Villiers will take over the duties, but we will answer that once we find out if Virat is out. He will come in on April 2. Between now and then, BCCI doctors and physio will speak to us and our medical staff will get a clearer picture.
The Bangalore franchise though revealed that they had been kept in the loop about Rahul’s condition and coach Daniel Vettori already has a replacement in mind.
Despite injuring his shoulder during the opener against Australia, Rahul had continued on and played all four fixtures against the visitors, scoring six half-centuries in the series.
Daniel Vettori, Coach - RCBSarfaraz has been really good. At the back end of the domestic season he started to put some runs on the board.Everyone knows how talented he is. With possible injuries, he could get an opportunity early on in the tournament.
On Mitchell Starc's absence, Vettori said English bowler Tymal Mills will have to fill in the shoes of the Australian pacer.
Daniel Vettori, Coach - RCBWe don’t want to put that sort of pressure on him. Starc is a top-class bowler and Mills is only finding his way into international and franchise cricket now. We want him to do well, but he will go about it in a different way than what Mitchell did. It wasn’t just us bidding for him. A lot of teams had scouted him and understood that he was a good player, how he could be effective for a team. It is always nice to be popular, isn’t it? I have known him from Brisbane Heat, got a really good feel for him as a person and a player. He will fit in really well with our group.
(With inputs from PTI)