Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will begin their IPL 2016 campaign at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Tuesday, when they take on Sunrisers Hyederabad. Virat Kohli's RCB will miss their strike bowler Mitchell Starc, who will not be a part of the squad this season, owing to injury.
Kohli knows RCB will miss the services of Starc, but has backed Shane Watson to make an impact with the ball.
"Yes we will miss Mitchell Starc, he was our impact bowler last time, but what we have done really well in this auction is we have bought Shane Watson," Kohli was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"If you see the whole season, he has been one of the most economical bowlers in T20 cricket because he can think like a batsman. That's why he always has an upper hand with the ball in the hand. He has the variations and can bowl at the death."
It is not like that RCB do not have enough bowlers in their squad. In fact, they have a number of talented bowlers in the form of Adam Milne, Watson, Kane Richardson, Samuel Badree, Sreenath Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Aaron and Stuart Binny.
"We have got Harshal Patel, who has done well, we have Kane Richardson this year and we have Adam Milne, who is clocking 150kmph. And there's Stuart Binny as well. If the conditions are a bit helpful, he is as effective as anyone else," Kohli added.
"It's a wonderful mix and an opportunity for the guys in the absence of Mitch to step up and take that top bowler's spot."
However, Badree is yet to join the squad as he has flown back to the Caribbean, after the completion of the ICC World T20. The West Indian had injured his elbow during the final of the tournament.
"We don't have Samuel Badree to start the tournament with... we will have to choose between Richardson, Milne and Wiese. When Badree is fit and he comes in, then on a slower wicket, we would see Badree playing in front of those three guys," Kohli said.
Kohli is going to have a tough time selecting his playing XI against Sunrisers Hyderabad as he has plethora of options. It will be interesting to see who he opts for as the fourth overseas player with Watson, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle expected to be certain starters.