As the auction for the 14th season of the Indian Premier League concluded, all franchises filled up their quota of domestic and overseas players. Talking about Royal Challengers Bangalore in particular, They had a need of an off-spinning all-rounder which was fulfilled in their aggressive buy of Glen Maxwell for INR 14.5 Cr. They generally went after all-rounders who could contribute in both phases of the game and also some local batting talent who had shone in the domestic circuits.
Royal Challengers Bangalore had a decent outing in last year's Indian Premier League season. Although their performances dropped in the latter half of the tournament, they were able to make the playoffs. Since the inception of the league, The franchise has been trying ever so hard to attain the league title, finishing runners up in 2009, 2001, and 2016.
The franchise has really failed to light up the league apart from these seasons and has shown an over-dependence on Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers. The management will be hoping the purchase of Glenn Maxwell will offset this problem, but it's yet to be seen. Today we take a look at the top 5 players expected to perform for the side.
The Kerala-born batsman lit up the league with his batting last season and was one of the best-uncapped performers of last season. His batting often alleviated some pressure on Kohli's shoulders. Often opening the innings with Australian veteran batsman Aaron Finch, It was Padikkal who took the onus to attack every time. Batting with grace and fluency, the South-paw frequently found consistency which has often alluded to Indian batsman.
With the last edition of the Indian Premier League taking place in Abu Dhabi, the 20-year old took part in every game for the franchise. Of the 15 matches he played, The batsman scored 473 runs with an average of 31.53 carrying a strike rate of 124.80.
But he has improved even more since then, with good outings in the Syed Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare tournaments. Redefining the word consistency, the RCB player finished the recently concluded Vijay Hazare with the stats, 737 runs from 7 games over a strike rate of 95.96 with a colossal average of 147.4 including 4 centuries and 3 half-centuries
King Kohli, the main man, and skipper of Royal challengers Bangalore. The franchise has been forever dependent on this man, the run machine single-handedly dragged the team to the finals in 2016 scoring 973 runs under his belt. Setting new benchmarks in the tournament, Although lack of performances from others meant they failed to win the final. If we take a look at the history of the tournament, He and Suresh Raina have been the league's best batsman.
He has scored over 5878 runs over 192 matches in the world’s toughest T20 league. IPL 2020 was no different as he scored 466 runs from 15 matches scoring at a strike rate of 121.35 at an average of 42.36. Although his strike rate dropped, the Indian skipper looks to be coming back into form in the ongoing series against England.
After struggling in the test series, accumulating some unwanted records. Virat Kohli looks to have come back to his previous best, announcing his return to form with a glorious cover drive in the 3rd T20 against England. Out of the 3 matches played so far, he has scored 150 runs, hitting at a strike rate and average of 150, including 2 half-centuries. It is of no doubt, the skipper will lead the team with his performances again.
AB de Villers
One of the most prolific batsmen in the modern era, with the ball striking capability to down any bowling attack in the world. He is a treat to watch for any cricketing fan, known as a 360-degree player as he is capable of hitting any part of the ground and a decent wicket-keeper as an add-on. He along with skipper Virat Kohli is one of the pillars of the franchise.
On his day, the South African batsman can win you matches single-handedly. What sets him apart from most batsmen is his ability to switch between classical batting to playing innovative strokes marinated with raw hitting power. He had one of his highest-scoring seasons in last year's IPL, scoring 454 runs in 15 matches, batting at a strike of 158.74 over an average of 45.40.
Because of his retirement from the game in the International scene in 2018, IPL 2020 remains any form of cricket he has played ever since. Although some might be concerned about match practice, with the ability as one of the most dangerous batsmen in the world and to take a catch leaping tall mountains, there won't be many in the game that would underestimate him.
Glenn Maxwell was one of the biggest names in the recently concluded mini-auction, even after being released by the Punjab kings after a disastrous season. The management must be hoping the batsman just had an off-season and would turn around his fortunes in the RCB colors. An avid fan of AB de Villers, the Australian batsman would get to play along with his idol and can be equally destructive on his day.
His best performance in the grandest T20 league came in IPL 2014 when he scored 552 runs from 16 matches at an astonishing strike rate of 187.75. Apart from that one season, he has really flopped in the league with last season being one of his worst, scoring only 108 runs from 13 matches at a strike rate of 108.88. He had hit only 9 fours and no sixes in the campaign.
He has since broken his funk in the International consistency in the International scene, but not quite found consistency which was evident in Australia’s recent T20 series against New Zealand. Impressing with the bat in one, with the ball in another, he hasn't been able to earn his teammates' dependency. Although he had a decent outing in the recent Big bash league scoring 379 runs from 14 matches at a strike rate of 143.56 and picking up 7 wickets at an economy of 7.66. Regardless, everyone unanimously accepts Maxwell has reached the right destination in the Bangalore franchise and will be looking out for his blockbuster performances.
The Indian all-rounder burst onto the scene with Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL 2017, impressing with the ball. And so the then uncapped player Sundar hit a lottery when Royal Challenger Bangalore bought him for INR 3.2 Cr in the 2018 auction. He has since impressed to recently making his debut for team India in the International format of the game and has drawn applause from all corners of the game.
In his debut season in the IPL, he bowled with a low economy rate of 6.16. Then in the next season, he impressed with the bat having a decent outing hitting at a strike rate of 171.05. This led to him growing as an all-rounder and developing himself as a power-play bowler. He had a good season with the ball last IPL, picking up 8 wickets from 15 matches bowling at a very low economy rate of 5.96
Making his debut in the International game, Washington Sundar has impressed people around the world after making telling contributions in India’s famous victory of the test series in the recently concluded Australian tour and win against England, earning them a spot in the World Test Championship final. Entering another season of IPL as a more established name, there will be a greater onus on the all-rounder to perform.
With Royal Challengers looking to win their first IPL championship ever, Let us know who do you think will be the franchise’s star performer and whether they can push the team over the line to achieve the trophy that has eluded them so far.