Legendary West Indies cricketer Brian Lara has backed RCB's move to open with Virat Kohli this season and termed it a 'wise decision.' He's also hopeful that Nicholas Pooran will have a very good season and added that he really likes watching Mumbai Indians' Suryakumar Yadav, at present.
Nothing brings out the best of Virat Kohli in IPL as much as opening does. The RCB skipper averages a whopping 47.86 with a strike-rate of 140.17 in the opening position while his strike-rate falls down to 123.84 at his customary no.3 position. Much ahead of the season, after the T20I series-decider against England, Kohli had announced that he will be opening the batting in IPL, this year. Now, he's set to team up with Devdutt Padikkal at the top of the order.
Former West Indies skipper Brian Lara has stated that opening the batting will give Kohli the best chance to contribute for the team and termed it a 'wise decision'.
“Opening the batting allows him to bat more overs. I think it is the best position for the best batsman. I also did that in the 1992 World Cup. Of course, if Virat Kohli loses his wicket early, it puts pressure on the team but if he can give himself the best chance, then it will be a huge benefit for the team. In my opinion, this is a very wise decision,” Lara told Cricket.com in an interview.
Suryakumar Yadav has been doing well in the IPL over the years but the T20I series against England saw him making strides in international cricket for India too where he debuted for the country. Lara stated that he really enjoys watching Suryakumar bat and also hoped for a good season from Trinidadian Nicholas Pooran.
“I would like Nicholas Pooran to have a great season. We all know what a big talent he is. He has of course given some sporadic performances but this year I want to have a really big season and challenge the top spot in terms of runs. At present, I enjoyed watching Suryakumar Yadav last year and it is no secret that KL Rahul is one of my favourite players."
Like the last year, 2021 IPL will also be played behind closed doors without crowds. Lara added that it will be strange to see an IPL in India without crowds.
“It’s going to be tough. We had a little bit of a hint when the IPL happened last year in UAE. It’s back in India now. You know how the crowds in India are. They are fanatical, nearly every game there’s 50,000 people in venues. It’s going to be a little bit strange without them but the players have got a little bit accustomed to it."
There have been players who have withdrawn their name from the IPL the citing bubble fatigue. Lara also feels that bubbles can impact players.
"Guys are moving from quarantine to quarantine, bubble to bubble, I feel somedays [they] can be affected by it,” the left-hander added.