Shane Watson likely to open for RCB in absence of Kohli and Rahul this season

Watson had a forgettable season with the bat in last year's IPL. Having played 16 games, he was able to score only 179 runs.

Shane Watson
Shane Watson. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has hinted at the likelihood of him opening the batting for the Royal Challengers Bangalore this season. Watson will have to open in place of Virat Kohli, who has been advised to give his injured shoulder some rest.

The skipper of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad Virat Kohli sustained a shoulder injury in the third test against Australia while making an effort to save a boundary. He was ruled out of the fourth and final test in Dharamshala, which saw India register an emphatic win under the captaincy of Ajinkya Rahane.


KL Rahul on the other hand injured his left shoulder in the very first test in Pune. Nevertheless, Rahul was able to see the series through and was quite consistent with his batting against the Australians. However, the Bangalore lad will fly to London and undergo surgery.

Although Kohli should return to the Bangalore batting order later, Rahul will be forced to miss out on this season of the IPL.

“In the absence of Virat and KL Rahul, there are chances that I would be asked to bat at the top — a position which I enjoy the most and have been doing well,” said Watson.

Watson will hence join big hitting Jamaican Chris Gayle at the top of the order until Virat Kohli is fit to play again. Watson is also confident that the youngsters in the team will make valuable contributions to offset the absence of big names such as Kohli and Rahul.

“It will be challenging for us to miss the services of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul for few games, but the team has players like Sarfaraz Khan, Sachin Baby and Mandeep Singh, who could be good replacements,” Watson was quoted as saying to CricketNext.

Watson had a forgettable season with the bat in last year’s IPL. Having played 16 games, he was able to score only 179 runs. With the ball, however, Watto made a contribution, picking up 20 wickets for his side.

Given the opportunity to open the innings in this season, Watson will look to turn things around with the bat and devastate the opposition’s bowling attack, as the Kohli-Gayle duo did consistently.