South Africa middle-order batsman AB De Villiers will lead Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening stages of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 if regular skipper Virat Kohli fails to recover from his shoulder injury in time for the start of the tournament. While no timeline has been ascertained for the Imdian team skipper return, Daniel Vettori, head coach of the team, told reporters of the succession plan in the eventually of the star skipper missing out.
"He (Kohli) will come in on April 2. Between now and then, the BCCI doctors and physio will speak to us and our medical staff will get a clearer picture. Right now, we don't have a clear picture on his availability. We will know in the next few days," The former Kiwi cricketer told reporters in Bengaluru.
"The likely scenario is that AB De Villiers will take over the duties, but we'll answer that once we find out if Virat is out," Vettori added.
The 28 years old cricketer (Kohli) sustained an injury to his right shoulder while diving to save a boundary on the opening day of the Ranchi Test versus Australia. The injury ruled the Indian skipper out of the series decider in Dharamsala.
"It's still a few weeks to go before I can be 100% on the field," Virat Kohli said at the end of the fourth Test. "But these things happen in your career. Got to take it in my strike and move forward."
However, Vettori was quick to back two young guns of RCB squad Mandeep Singh and Sarfaraz Khan to step up in Kohli's absence. "Fortunately, we have a number of exceptional batsmen who haven't got many playing chances, like Sarfaraz Khan and Mandeep Singh," Vettori added.