'AB de Villiers to lead if Kohli is unavailable'

Australia's captain Steven Smith, center, and David Warner, left, wait for the prize ceremony after losing the test cricket series against India in Dharmsala, India, Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

Virat Kohli will join the Royal Challengers Bangalore camp on Sunday, although his availability for the early games of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season is still in doubt, according to Daniel Vettori. RCB play their first match - away - against defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad. Possibly more than anything is giving the rest that players need.

Kohli had hurt his shoulder while fielding during the third Test in Ranchi, forcing him to miss his first five-day game in 54 matches.

"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. He also shared some brilliant stands with De Villiers. However, Vettori feels they have other batsmen to do the job. "Fortunately, we have a number of exceptional batsmen who haven't got many playing chances like Sarfaraz Khan and Mandeep Singh".

"It's a huge asset for us that someone else can fill in those gaps".

Vettori did say much about captaincy either.

"It's most likely De Villiers will take over the duties as captain but we can address that situation once we find out about Kohli's condition".

The Indian team has had a long home season.

Vettori said Kohli and Rahul are accustomed to the rigours of worldwide schedule.

"They are accustomed to this.Virat has played for the country for so long and is familiar with the rigours of global schedule and then playing in the IPL".

Kohli was the top-scorer in last year's IPL as he amassed 973 runs, which included four centuries and seven fifties, at an average of 81.08 in 16 matches. "Rahul has been a part of the Test squad in the past as well", he said. While RCB have mostly had a sound batting unit, they have seldom pieced together a potent bowling unit that is equally important for success. If we give them small mental breaks now and then, (it will be enough).

Vettori also believed there would be no spillover from the ill-tempered India-Australia series.

"I don't think it will, from our perspective". Starc is a top-class bowler and Mills is only finding his way into global and franchise cricket now. They did well at this year's auction, roping in England's T20 specialist Tymal Mills as a replacement for Aussie Mitchell Starc.

  • Julie Sanders