Chennai, April 9 (IANS) The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic hurt both Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teams, forcing them to drop their first-choice openers in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL) opening match on Friday night.
While South African wicketkeeping-batsman Quinton de Kock missed out for Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore were forced to pick a replacement for their opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal, who was a find for them last season.
“Quinny (Quinton de Kock) is in quarantine, so he isn’t available. Lynn will make debut,” said MI skipper Rohit Sharma ahead of the tournament opener.
“Padikkal has been recommended rest,” said Sharma’s counterpart from RCB, Virat Kohli.
While de Kock has just arrived India from South Africa after playing the second ODI against Pakistan on April 4, Padikkal had tested positive for Covid-19 before clearing it with a negative test and joining the team.
Both are left-handed openers and provided strong starts to their franchises in IPL 2020 in the UAE. Padikkal made 473 runs in 15 matches in IPL 2020, his debut season at an average of 31.53 while de Kock scored 503 runs in 16 matches at an average of 35.92 last season.