IPL 2021: Mike Hesson confirms AB de Villiers as RCB's first-choice wicketkeeper

IPL 2021: Mike Hesson confirms AB de Villiers as RCB’s first-choice wicketkeeper

De Villiers has been a fulcrum of RCB's setup for close to a decade.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) saw the franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) finishing at the fourth position in the points table after winning seven games out of 14 and being knocked out after getting defeated by the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Eliminator. 

One of the biggest positives for RCB from their campaign in IPL 2020 was the emergence of South Africa’s great AB de Villiers as a full-time wicketkeeper. The Bangalore outfit has decided that they will go with AB as their first-choice wicketkeeper in the 14th edition too as it provides the required balance to the team and helps them in exploring the different combinations.

Apart from AB, RCB has two Indian keepers in their squad too in Mohammed Azharuddeen and KS Bharat. Both the players are coming on the back of a scintillating run in the domestic tournaments and were picked by Challengers during the auction for IPL 2021. Finn Allen is the other option for the keeping slot. He was added as a replacement for Josh Philippe, who had pulled out his name from the league owing to personal reasons.

Ab de Villiers loved wicketkeeping and he embraced it: Mike Hesson

Mike Hesson, RCB’s Director of Cricket said in this regard in a video posted on the official Twitter handle of RCB., “We were delighted with the fact that Ab de Villiers loved wicketkeeping and he embraced it. He wanted to continue doing it, he is a real option, we now have a couple of other wicketkeeping options which is great. Mohammed Azharuddeen is a natural athlete with gloves and in the field.”

“We also have KS Bharat, he is a natural keeper, gives us different options as well. We are not going to make the commitment now to you guys as to who will do what. We are really pleased with the options we have got and AB is certainly one of those,” he added.

The Virat Kohli-led side is all set to start their training and practice for the upcoming league on March 29. They will be locking horns against the Mumbai Indians in the inaugural game of the tournament on April 9 in Chennai.

For all the latest IPL News, live scores, schedule, point table & updates, stay tuned to CricTracker.