Royal Challengers Bangalore have been one of the three unfortunate teams that have never won the IPL title despite having the biggest names of the sport in their team with the likes Indian captain Virat Kohli, former South African captain AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle.
The mystery continues as the team enters the 13th edition of the IPL which is to be held in UAE from the 19 of September. RCB have the players and the potential to get over the line. But can VIrat Kohli and Co. solve the puzzle this time around?
Royal Challengers Bangalore Squad:
Virat Kohli (C), Parthiv Patel (WK), AB de Villiers, Aaron Finch, Joshua Philippe (WK), Devdutt Padikkal, Gurkeerat Mann, Moeen Ali, Chris Morris, Shivam Dube, Pavan Negi, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahamad, Dale Steyn, Kane Richardson, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj and Pavan Deshpande.
Probable playing Xl for RCB:
Openers (Aaron Finch and Parthiv Patel)
With the recruitment of Australian captain Aaron Finch into the team. RCB have made sure they have a strong opening pair and do not have to add pressure on the captain by often switching his position if the opener is out of form. This certainly gives the much needed stability to the team. The attacking opener could set the stadium blazing from the ball one, with such a potential in their side RCB may have found the right opener for them.
The ever young Parthiv Patel will join Aaron Finch at the top of the order. The wicket-keeper batsman is the most successful keeper for the RCB till date and will look to continue that form again this season. Though not very consistent and his inability to play long innings has been a flaw. The 35-year old covers it up with his hard-hitting and ability to use the powerplay to full effect makes him a very dangerous player for the opposition.
Middle Order (Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and and Moeen Ali)
Probably the strongest middle order in the tournament. The duo are a combination of two International captains with experience of more than a decade. Added to which they hold several records together namely- the highest partnership in the tournament. The highest run-getter in the tournament- Virat Kohli will this time look to get RCB over the line as he said in his recent press conference how determined he was.
His fellow team-mate AB de Villiers does not require much of an introduction. Mr.360 can get going from ball one and his ability to play spin, which most of the foreign players fail to do has made him one of the best batsmen to ever play the tournament.
The star English all-rounder Moeen Ali may claim the No.5 spot solely for his striking ability and the crucial 30 odd runs which he scores on consistent. With Moeen Ali, RCB have a hard-hitter and a useful off-spinner who often breaks crucial partnerships.
All rounders (Shivam Dube, Chris Morris and Washington Sundar)
The 27-year old was one of the most expensive recruits of RCB in the 2019 season costing a whopping five crores. The left-hander though adds value with his incredible ability to spin and also play the anchoring role. Given a chance at the highest level, he did not disappoint the management as he was seen scoring a matured fifty against West indies. His temperament added with ability to roll his arm at times makes him a valuable No.6 for RCB.
The South-African Chris Morris was another expensive buy at the auctions. He was bought for a sum of 10 crores. His price tag though is worth for a player of his caliber. The 33-year has on several occasions taken his team over the line both at domestic and International level. He is one of the few players who can hit the ball hard as well as open the bowling for the team. His experience added with his incredible passion for the game should earn him a spot in the playing Xl.
Washington Sundar can be considered unlucky as he has got to play very few games in the last few seasons. RCB have somehow managed to not use him the way the all-rounder should have been. Though this time around he is expected to play the entire tournament given that the pitches in UAE will favour the spinners. The left-hander is a handy bowler in the powerplay who seldom gives away runs and can turn out to play the vital role for RCB. He also has some very good knocks with the bat to his name and on many occasions has helped his team get over the line. The inclusion of Sundar will deepen the batting of RCB.
Bowlers (Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal)
Chahal has been the best bowler so far for the franchise. The leg-spinner has already picked up 100 wickets for the franchise. He was also the highest wicket-taker for RCB in the last season and was awarded the MVP of RCB award. He will definitely be the go-to bowler for Kohli when he has questions against the opposition.
Umesh Yadav is yet another experienced player who does not need to be told what to do. The speedster who clocks 140 on a consistent basis has recently given a lot of importance for his line and length. Though the right-arm pacer had a horrid run in the last season. He is someone who can perform at will and will definitely make the cut for RCB this time.
Navdeep Saina, the 27-year old is already considered one of the leading bowlers in India and he is one of the few who can clock the 90 mph at will. Though not a very good container of runs, he is definitely someone who can claim the crucial wickets at the end of the innings.
Cover Credits: IPLT20