Royal Challengers Bangalore: Search for First IPL Title Continues

Even when RCB assembled the best team on paper, they somehow ended up being second best. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Marcus Stoinis will plug the holes in Virat Kohli’s team with their abilities in the powerplay and in the death, but they aren’t available for full duration, so all eyes will be on Indian players like Washington Sundar and uncapped all-rounder Shivam Dube who will be expected to stand up in their absence.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Search for First IPL Title Continues Royal Challengers Bangalore: Search for First IPL Title Continues Source : Press

Every year, Royal Challengers Bangalore assemble the hottest team of the tournament but somehow, they end up failing. In 11 attempts, they have made the final 3 times only to end as the runners up. Chennai Super Kings have been the runners up 4 times, but they have also won the tournament 3 times. One of the reasons is that RCB are too dependent on the star players. They don't perform as a team like CSK, MI or SRH do. In pressure situations, they can't hold their nerves.

RCB Probable XI: Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Colin de Grandhomme, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

Watch Out For: Australian all-rounder and fast bowler Marcus Stoinis and Nathan Coulter-Nile will join the squad in April. Australia is currently in UAE to play Pakistan in a 5-match ODI series. Heinrich Klaasen has done well in domestic cricket in South Africa. Pawan Negi has been in economical in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy.

Strengths: Virat Kohli is world's best batsman across all formats. He struck two hundreds against Australia and is still in his extended purple patch. AB de Villiers retired from international cricket last year but he has been racking up runs in T20 franchise leagues like BPL and PSL. Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar and Mohammed Siraj are India's next generation talents. RCB have a well-rounded playing XI which bats deep with Sundar coming in at 8. They also have 7 genuine bowling options to choose from. One of Shivam Dube and Colin de Grandhomme will probably be under bowled.

Virat Kohli with his team

Photo Credit: BCCI

Weaknesses: To be too critical, RCB are probably a little light on their bench strength in batting. Parthiv Patel hasn't been at his best in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

X-Factor: Shimron Hetmyer is the latest raw talent unearthed from the Caribbean Islands. His six hitting ability is second to none for his age. He is particularly good against the slow bowlers, smacking huge sixes against Indian spinners last year in all the three formats.

Uncapped Gem: Shivam Dube is an all-rounder from Mumbai. He made the headlines when he hit five sixes in an over in a Ranji Match against Baroda. RCB paid ₹5 Crore for him in the auction.

RCB Full Squad: Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Heinrich Klaasen, Himmat Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Marcus Stoinis, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Prayas Barman, Akshdeep Nath, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Tim Southee, Mohammed Siraj, Nathan Coulter-Nile.

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