Royal Challengers Bangalore Preview time.
Virat Kohli has had a rough time converting his 50s to three figures recently, but his T20I form is still stellar, receiving the Player of the Series award in the India Vs England T20I series.
The real question is when will Kohli-ABD convert the semi-finals & finals into IPL trophies? I think 2021 is RCB’s year. Keep on reading this preview.
2009, 2011, 2016 – (Runners Up), 2010, 2015 – (3rd), 2020 – (4th)
How Did They Do Last Year?
4th. Probably an accurate reflection. When RCB edged out KKR & KXIP narrowly for the fourth spot, not many complained. When RCB crashed out at the hands of Kane Williamson, nobody complained either.
- Yuzvendra Chahal was the pick of the bowlers, picking up 21 wickets.
- Devdutt Padikkal did not seem like the ‘new kid on the block.’ Scored 473 runs as an opener and played some mature knocks.
- The S factor – Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar might not have had the best IPL 2020, but in Australia, they formed the bowling core of the 3rd and 4th Tests. Their maturity was brilliant to watch.
Also Read: Life Lessons From India’s Tour of Australia
Injury & COVID-19 News
Devdutt Padikkal has tested postive for coronavirus. He might not make the first two games due to quarantine protocols. Big blow for RCB, and not the only one.
Josh Philippe has withdrawn days before the IPL for personal reasons. The only good news is that Finn Allen, who just scored a whirlwind 71(29) against Bangladesh in a T20I, is recruited as a replacement.
Complete Royal Challengers Bangalore Squad
Batsman: Virat Kohli*, Devdutt Padikkal, Rajat Patidar, Sachin Baby, Suyash Prabhudessai
WK: Srikar Bharat, Mohammed Azharuddeen
All-Rounders: Pavan Deshpande, Harshal Patel, Shahbaz Ahmed
Fast Medium: Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar
Spinners: Yuzvendra Chahal
Overseas: Finn Allen, Dan Christian, AB de Villiers, Kyle Jamieson, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Adam Zampa
Withdrawn: Josh Philippe
Predicted RCB XI
The Padikkal absence and Kohli’s insistence of Kohli-Sharma T20I opening partnership can change things up for RCB. One option is a Kohli-Azharuddeen partnership at the top. Alternatively, pair Finn Allen up at the top, drop everyone one spot, and replace one of Christian or Jamieson.
1. Mohammed Azharuddeen, 2.*Virat Kohli (C), 3. AB de Villiers (WK), 4. Glenn Maxwell, 5. Daniel Christian, 6. Washington Sundar, 7. Kyle Jamieson/Daniel Sams/Adam Zampa, 8. Shahbaz Ahmed/Harshal Patel, 9. Mohammed Siraj, 10. Navdeep Saini, 11. Yuzvendra Chahal
*Devdutt Padikkal slots in at 2 whenever he recovers with everyone moving down a slot.
Watch Out For
- Virat Kohli, the opener. 2016 season all over again? Maybe a little change is all Virat needs to get back in top gear.
- Mohammed Azharuddeen lit up the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with a 37-ball 100 and ended up as the third highest run scorer in the tournament. If Azharuddeen-Padikkal can form a solid opening partnership at the top, the middle order can be really destructive.
- Jamieson has seen lots of highs & lows recently with the IPL auction & the Australia T20I series, but the one to really watch out would be Dan Christian. A veteran and winner of almost all T20 championships, he is the fix that RCB never had. Overdependence on Kohli-ABD no more. With Maxwell, Dan Christan, and insurance policy of Sundar and Jamieson below, RCB finally have the consistent finishing.
Where Can Things Go Wrong For the Challengers?
All good, except they no longer play in Bangalore. With 8 games combined in Chennai & Kolkata, the likes of Maxwell & Christian might struggle. However, the spin duo of Sundar-Chahal might come to the rescue.
No other major flaws as long as Saini-Siraj can keep their economy rates in check.
Venues & Fixtures
Kolkata- 5, Ahmedabad- 4, Chennai- 3, Mumbai- 2
- 9 April: MI vs RCB (Chennai)
- 14 April: SRH vs RCB (Chennai)
- 18 April: RCB vs KKR (Chennai)
- 22 April: RCB vs RR (Mumbai)
- 25 April: CSK vs RCB (Mumbai)
- 27 April: DC vs RCB (Ahmedabad)
- 30 April: PBKS vs RCB (Ahmedabad)
- 3 May: KKR vs RCB (Ahmedabad)
- 6 May: RCB vs PBKS (Ahmedabad)
- 9 May: RCB vs SRH (Kolkata)
- 14 May: RCB vs DC (Kolkata)
- 16 May: RR vs RCB (Kolkata)
- 20 May: RCB vs MI (Kolkata)
- 23 May: RCB vs CSK (Kolkata)
- 25 May: Qualifier 1 (Ahmedabad)
- 26 May: Eliminator (Ahmedabad)
- 28 May: Qualifier 2 (Ahmedabad)
- 30 May: Final (Ahmedabad)
|Most Runs||Virat Kohli|
|Most Wickets||Washington Sundar|
|Emerging Player||Mohammad Azharuddeen|
|Surprise Package||Finn Allen|
|X Factor||Dan Christian/ AB De Villiers|
|Broken Cricket Dream||Glenn Maxwell. Less of a broken dream, more of a warning. If Maxwell fails again, he would be the next Aaron Finch. Not to be picked in future auctions.|
What do you think of the Royal Challengers Bangalore Preview? Your First XI? Will they make the IPL 2021 qualifiers?
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Copyright (2021: 4/3/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – firstname.lastname@example.org