Next up, we look at a side that has shown a lot of promise in the past but failed to exceed expectations, the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Failing to cross the final hurdle on two occasions, the pride of Karnataka knows how it feels to play among the big boys. However, it is their ability to collapse at crucial junctures that have cost them dearly in the past. Let us look at what are their prospects for the upcoming IPL.
Strengths – RCB have always ridden on their foreign imports and this year looks no different for them. With the swashbuckling Gayle and De Villiers amongst their ranks, no total will seem impossible for them to chase down. Adding to this the all round skills of the highly talented Sammy and the extraordinary death bowling of Mitchell Starc, the RCB boast of some of the most prolific overseas stars to pick from. Not to forget the seasoned Indian contingent of captain courageous Virat kohli, high priced keeper batsmen Dinesh Karthik and old war horse Subramaniam Badrinath, RCB indeed looks a decent side on paper.
Weakness – With Milne, Abbot and Starc in their ranks, the pace bowling department indeed looks enviable. But, they lack a quality spinner on what will be turning sub continental pitches. The likes of Abdullah, Chahal are good no doubt, but are they world class is what is left to be seen. RCB have perennially possessed a weak bowling line up across all seasons of the IPL and they must look to prove otherwise this time around.
X Factor – AB De Villiers has often been called superhuman and one would find this hard to debate. His ability to change the tempo of the game and his 360 degree shot range will give nightmares to any bowling unit around the world. He is currently the most dangerous T20 batsmen in the world and he plays for RCB. He is their most consistent performer and hence will be our X factor to watch out for. If both AB and Chris Gayle click in the same match, then it is curtains for the opposition.
Verdict – RCB has always been a side that looks good on paper and this year you have to admit that they look slightly better than what they did a Couple of seasons ago. They have a tailor made T20 side that boasts of youth and experience that will come in handy across the various stages of the tournament. Nothing less than a top four finish will do for RCB considering the funds spent at the auction and the expectation of the fan base.
Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Starc, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal, Varun Aaron, Vijay Zol, Rilee Rossouw, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Yogesh Takawale, Ashoke Dinda, Harshal Patel, Manvinder Bisla, Sandeep Warrier, Dinesh Karthik, Iqbal Abdullah, Darren Sammy, Subramaniam Badrinath, Adam Milne, Sean Abbott, Jalaj Saxena, David Wiese, Shishir Bhavane, Sarfaraz Naushad Khan