Former Indian batsman and chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar has picked Virat Kohli-led RCB as the potential winners of the 2020 IPL since they haven't won the silverware thus far. He also added that empty stadiums shouldn't hamper performances as players take pride in performing well.
The connection between Dilip Vengsarkar and Virat Kohli goes a long way. In 2008, the former Indian batsman was the chief selector of India and had drafted Virat Kohli in the national side after seeing him perform well in the Emerging player's tournament in Australia. After that, there hasn't been any looking back for Virat Kohli as he has become of the best batsmen across all formats and also the captain of India. Dilip Vengsarkar has picked Kohli's RCB as the favourites to win the 13th edition of the IPL.
Vengsarkar, who is fondly known in the cricket fraternity as Colonel, stated that the trio of Virat, AB and Chahal alongside the brilliant Navdeep Saini and a host lot of good players, the Bangalore-based franchise should finally win the silverware.
“In this T20 format, it is very difficult to say who the front runners will be. But I would say Bangalore are winning it this time, because they haven’t won it so far. Kohli, AB de Villiers and Yuzvendra Chahal will come good. They have a lot of good players in the squad. Pacer Navdeep Saini bowled extremely well in their first game (against SunRisers Hyderabad). So, I will be interested to see their progress in the tournament," Vengsarkar told IANS, reported Cricket Country.
“Well, the RCB could be the favourites — one of the favourites — but I can’t stick out my neck and say that X, Y or Z will (surely) win. But they could be one of the favourites,” he added.
He also outlined how humid the conditions are in the UAE and with only a few centers to play so many matches in the IPL, would mean a lot more wear and tear of the pitches that should aid the spinners later on in the tournament.
“Basically, the conditions are humid in the UAE. But then that is bound to happen because in these months, it’s quite warm and humid there. And, of course, IPL in India is played in 10-12 centres and in the UAE you are playing only at three centres, so there will be wear and tear of the pitches as you go along. It will be interesting.
“The spinners can come into play later on with the help of pitches. And the weather will definitely improve because October and November are relatively cooler, especially in the evenings, in the UAE. I say this because I used to play in Sharjah etc., so I know a bit about the weather.”
Admitting the fact that a full house inspires players, Vengsarkar opined you can't help but play in empty stadiums as its pandemic time. Still, he feels as players take pride in performing well they should do well.
“I don’t know if it (empty stadiums) reduces the performances, but if it is a full house, the atmosphere is fine. What happens is a full house inspires you. So, that part might be missing in this tournament, and it is all because of the pandemic. You can’t really help. But, of course, any player would like to play in front of a full house.
“Everybody takes pride in his performance and in contributing to his team’s cause, whether there are crowds or not. That is the top priority. And if there is a crowd, it adds to it; you are charged up.”
So far, RCB have won two games of their first three encounters. They will take on RR on October 3 in Abu Dhabi.