de Villiers, who batted at No. 4 against Kolkata Knight Riders and smashed 73 off 33 in his 100-run stand with Kohli in their last game, was surprisingly demoted while Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube were sent ahead of him.
Both Sundar and Dube did nothing spectacular as Rcb managed to get to 171/6 in 20 overs, thanks only to Chris Morris's late-order hitting.
At the innings break, former England batsman and Kohli's former Rcb teammate Kevin Pietersen questioned the decision.
The decision may have been made due to Ab's recent weakness against spin bowling, away turning ones in particular. Most of his dismissals in T20 cricket have come against this kind of bowling,