As a new season begins, Royal Challengers Bangalore beckons another year in chase of the long-alluded IPL Trophy. Even though many seasons have passed, not much has changed as their dependency on certain players to perform still remains the same. Releasing some big names, RCB headed into this year of IPL auction with one of the biggest purses and as always, made a statement indeed.
Their purchase of Kyle Jamieson and Glenn Maxwell this year sits among the top 5 costliest purchases of all time. Also, their decision to go after players who can contribute with both bat and ball saw the inclusion of Dan Christian and Daniel Sams, all-rounders was the theme for RCB heading into IPL 2021 auctions. But with many of the stars joining the training camp much later compared to other franchises, it's yet to be seen if everyone has their rhythm from the get-go.
Let's take a look at the players who have the highest potential to get into the Royal Challengers playing XI.
The find of last season, Devdutt Padikall shot to prominence last season-opening the innings for the Bangalore franchise and providing a steady base for the innings to be built on. Attacking in nature and not putting a wrong step, Padikall helped take off some pressure from Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Scoring 473 runs in his debut season, the young batman gives a feeling that there is more to come.
Known as King Kohli, the world-renown Indian batsman who has dominated all formats is the main man and skipper of Royal Challengers Bangalore. One of the most successful batsmen in the IPL tournament, this year we will see Virat Kohli opening the innings alongside Devdutt Padikall. He mostly will play the role of an anchor around whom the innings can be built around. And if the run machine gets going, no totals will be deemed big enough for this RCB team.
AB de Villiers
The superman of cricket is RCB’S go-to man in times of trouble. With ball-striking capabilities to destroy any bowling attack and the ability to score 360 degrees around the park, the South African legend has been one of the mainstays of the Bangalore franchise’s lineup. Scoring over 4800 runs at a remarkable average of 40.40 at a devastating strike rate of 151.91, no words can amount to the importance of this man to the team.
One of the biggest flops of last season. Although last season was his monumental worst, Glenn Maxwell has lived up to his hype in the IPL apart from a season or two. Still, his reputation in the International scene continues to attract buyers and now will be seen as a marquee player to share the responsibilities alongside Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. If he can finally translate his International heroics to the IPL scene, there will be no stopping this Bangalore side.
Mohammed Azharudden/ Sachin Baby
The latest uncapped player in the Bangalore franchise, the management will be hoping they have struck gold with the find of Mohammed Azharuddeen. The Kerala batsman shot into prominence with a masterstroke of an innings in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy against a prominent Mumbai bowling attack scoring 137 of 54 balls. Although his spot is closely challenged by Sachin Baby who has previously played the finisher's role for the team.
A T20 specialist who has won many T20 tournaments around the world such that he has come to be known as a good luck charm. A decent pace bowler and a hard hitter of the ball, he made vital contributions for the Sydney Sixers scoring 272 runs at a strike rate of 182.55 and picking up 15 wickets from 16 matches as they lifted the BBL Championship. The management will be hoping he rubs off the same effect on this Bangalore side.
One of the go-to all-rounders for the Royal Challengers in recent seasons. He has had excellent seasons with the ball with very strong economical numbers like 5.96 last season, choking the batsman of runs. He is also more than capable with the bat, showcasing his heroics in the recently concluded test series against Australia and England. His performances in the white-ball formats though were lacking and will be a cause of worry for the franchise side.
The Kiwi all-rounder made the headlines for his heroics in the International scene. He was made the costliest buy of Royal Challengers in this year's auction. But it's to be noted that the Kiwi player hasn't had the same effect in shorter formats of the game, adding to his inexperience in subcontinent conditions. Kyle Jamieson might make the team based on his price tag, but will be closely contested by Daniel Sams, who is waiting on the wings.
The first Indian bowler to get a five-wicket haul in the T20 format, Yuzvendra Chahal has been a very successful player for the Bangalore side. A wrist spinner by trade, he is the captain’s go-to man when in need of a wicket. He has picked up 121 wickets from 99 matches at an economy rate of 7.67. His performances have dropped in the International scene and has been in and out of the Indian team. But a proven customer in the IPL, he will be the pick of the bowlers for this Bangalore side.
Still, in his growing stages, Mohammed Siraj has jumped leaps and bounds with his ability with the ball. Having the backing of the skipper, the bowler recently made it into the International side where he was able to produce some decent performances. Last season of IPL, he picked up 11 wickets from 9 matches still at a high economy rate of 8.68. The management will be hoping he is ready to take the next step of his improvement.
He will be the senior-most Indian paceman on the team, with the ability to easily clock speeds above 140km/hr. The management will be hoping this will be his breakout season in the IPL having debuted recently. He will be keen on making great strides as a good performance in the IPL will go a long way in putting his name back in the pool for the International side.
Team Rating: 8.45/10
Although having a strong top order, much depends on them for any chance of Royal Challengers Bangalore making the playoffs. The management will be hoping the loss of form shown by Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal is a minor blip as much depends on them in the bowling department. As every year the Bangalore franchise lacks in the bowling department which could yet again prove to be their Achilles heel.
Let us know your comments about the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who do you think are their top performers and how far in the tournament do you think they will go. Also, do read Cricwizz's Top 5 players to watch out for in this season.