Royal Challengers Bangalore has been the part of India Premier League since it’s conception, they have seen all the highs and the lows of the game. RCB was sixth in the last edition of IPL and were finalists in the 2017 edition. On an interesting note, Royal Challengers Bangalore holds the records for both the highest and the lowest totals in the IPL history (263/5 and 49) which quite sums up their IPL journey. RCB is captained by Virat Kohli and consists of superstar players like Ab DeVilliers, Tim Southee. They have a huge fan base all over the world especially due to the presence of Virat Kohli and Ab DeVilliers. Head Coach of RCB is Gary Kirsten, the man behind India’s world cup win 2011.
In this year’s auction RCB have retained 15 of their previous players and made 12 addition to their squad. Before this year’s auction they made 3 changes to the team Quinton de Kock (To Mumbai Indians), Mandeep Singh (To Kings XI Punjab), and they bought Marcus Stoinis from Kings XI Punjab, and apart from this they bought nine players in the auction Shivam Dube, Shimron Hetmyer, Akshdeep Nath, Prayas Barman, Himmat Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Heinrich Klaasen, Devdutt Padikkal and Milind Kumar.
History of RCB is full of mixed experiences. In the first edition of IPL in 2008 they finished second from the bottom position and then in the very next season they were in the finals against the bottom team of last season, Deccan Chargers. Since then they have either reached the finals or finish at the bottom three positions. That’s why they are considered jinx in the IPL. In the IPL 2018 which was not a very good season for them, they finished at number 6 spot just above Mumbai.
- Batting- With the auction buy of Sheron Hetmeyr they have made an ingenious move to give strength to their batting lineup. He can bat at any number between 4 to 7 which will give some less reliance on the Kohli and AB. Speaking of Kohli and AB we have to address that this world-class duo has been the lifesaver for the RCB on many occasions. Kohli is currently the 2nd most runs getter in IPL with 4948 runs just behind Suresh Raina who is 37 runs ahead of him.
- Fielding– They have the quickest side in the IPL because of the young talent they possess, who are ready to manifest themselves at any given stage. These youngsters give their 100 per cent while fielding against two of the best fielders of this generation, Kohli and AB DeVilliers. One quirky fact, the Kohli – AB duo have saved more runs than the lower order batsmen have scored of every other team combined.
Decision making is their biggest weakness as they have lost many matches in the last over because of the wrong choices they made earlier. The match which they could have won were lost due to the lack of good decision making. They might look good on paper but nothing exceptional happens if you can’t exercise them at the proper moment.
This year their squad is looking better than ever, each and every player has been handpicked to fit their roles. This season they have an opportunity to go far in the tournament and might even win.
Having the swiftest team on your side can sometimes be a liability for you as they are always bunny hopping in the field the chances of getting them injured will get much higher which they faced in the previous season with Chahal. They have to stay careful and make most of the choices which can turn the game in their favour.
What to expect?
There is always a sense of unpredictability around RCB. They have top international players like AB de Villiers, Kohli, Stoinis, Chahal, Moeen Ali and Southee, but can they utilise the potential of all of these star players. This year they have also bought in some good young talent. They have also got good coaching team which comprises of Kirsten, Nehra to name few. What you can surely expect from RCB is entertainment. No matter whether they lose or win they always manage to entertain the crowd.
Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers*, Parthiv Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Nathan Coulter-Nile*, Moeen Ali*, Mohammed Siraj, Colin de Grandhomme*, Tim Southee*, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Marcus Stoinis*, Shivam Dube, Shimron Hetmyer, Akshdeep Nath, Prayas Barman, Himmat Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Heinrich Klaasen*, Devdutt Padikkal and Milind Kumar
Probable playing XI
Parthiv Patel(wk), Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers, Shemron Hetmeyr, Marcus Stoinis, Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Pawan Negi, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Yuzvendra Chahal
First 3 Games