IPL Preview: Kohli returns for RCB ahead of MI clash
India captain Virat Kohli will return to bolster Royal Challenger Bangalore's campaign when they take on arch-rivals Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League here on Friday
Kohli had to undergo rehabilitation after sustaining an injury to his right shoulder while fielding during the third Test against Australia in Ranchi and he has been missing in action ever since. However, the Delhi batsman has been declared fit on Thursday by BCCI Medical Team and will look to boost the confidence of RCB, who lost two out of the three matches that they have played so far in his absence. Kohli, who had dropped hints of making a return after posting a video on his Instagram account of his gym session on April 11, did some fielding drills during the team's net session, on Wednesday.
Last year, Kohli had scored a staggering 973 runs in 16 matches with four centuries to guide RCB to the finals against Sunrisers Hyderabad and he would look to improve Bangalore's current sixth place standing on the points-table.
In Kohli's absence, AB de Villiers made his presence felt as he smashed his way to an unbeaten 89 off just 46 balls to help RCB post a respectable 148-4 on his comeback match after recovering from an injury.
The single-handed show by the South African, however, couldn't save the blushes of his team as RCB went down by eight wickets to Kings XI Punjab in their last match. The poor form of Chris Gayle is also a concern for RCB. The West Indian power-hitter has been struggling to carve out big scores, which is reflected in his failure to score even one half century in his last 10 innings. Gayle will be hoping to make a comeback in the team, especially after being dropped in the game against Punjab.
RCB also lost India batsman Lokesh Rahul for the entire tournament owing to an injury and the talented Sarfaraz Khan too hurt himself on the field during a practice match ahead of the tournament.
Kedar Jadhav, meanwhile, has showcased his utility by slamming a 37-ball 69 to help his side score 157 runs during a 15-run win over Delhi Daredevils. He also hit 31 in the opening match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Among bowlers, seamer Billy Stanlake and spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Pawan Negi have been among wickets. Mumbai, on the other hand, so far have two wins and a loss in the tournament to be placed at the third position on points-table. Mumbai Indians dominated with both bat and ball to defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets on Wednesday.