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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Virat Kohli has only played Test cricket in England since IPL 2021 got postponed in May
  • The retired AB de Villiers hasn’t been on a cricket field since RCB’s last game vs Punjab Kings on April 30
  • RCB will restart their IPL 2021 campaign vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on September 20

Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir reckons the second phase of the Indian Premier league (IPL) 2021 will be a bigger challenge for Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers when Royal Challengers Bangalore resume their campaign in the United Arab Emirates.

Kohli has only played Test cricket in England since IPL 2021 got postponed due to Covid-19 while the retired de Villiers hasn’t been on a field since RCB’s last game against Punjab Kings on April 30.

Gambhir therefore, feels both batsmen will have a massive challenge at hand when they get back into the T20 mould in the UAE.

“See there’s going to be a challenge for Virat and there’s going to be a huge challenge for AB de Villiers as well because he will be coming into the tournament without playing any cricket at all.

“Virat Kohli will have to adjust really quickly because there’ll be hardly any time for him to get used to it.

“From the five-Test-match series to the T20 format, and AB as well, because these guys need to get runs if they have to have a chance to first qualify for the playoffs and then probably go on to win the title,” Gambhir said on Star Sports’ show ‘Game Plan’.

IPL 2021 was initially postponed indefinitely after just 29 matches in May due to the second wave of Covid-19 in India.

But the Indian cricket board (BCCI) was able to find out a window to slot in the remaining 31 games to complete the season and thus, decided to take the tournament to the UAE where it will be played from September 19 to October 15 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Oman.

RCB will look to reach the play-offs for the second successive IPL season when they restart their campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on September 20.

Virat Kohli’s men are currently at the 3rd spot with 5 wins from 7 matches, tied on 10 points with 2nd-placed Chennai Super Kings. Delhi Capitals are on top of the points table with 12 points from 8 matches.

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