The Indian Premier League has been a trendsetter of sorts. With 8 teams during its inception, it got off with not much of expectations, but, much to everyone’s surprise, it was a huge success and today it is a global brand, for sure!
The Royal Challengers Bangalore are one of the eight teams that have been there throughout the six seasons. The team owned by business mogul Vijay Mallya, has had a roller coaster ride over the past few years. A dissapointing first year was followed by an appearance in the final.
The addition of Chris Gayle then changed the dynamics of the team. Virat Kohli’s resurgence and AB De Villiers crafty batting has only piled on the misery to the opposition. They have been quite consistent over they years and this season too they are a force to be reckoned with. So let’s have a sneak preview about the RCB this season.
Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, Nic Maddinson, Vijay Zol, Tanmay Mishra
Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle, Albie Morkel
Muttiah Muralitharan, Mitchel Stark, Varun Aaron, Ashok Dinda, Ravi Rampaul, Harshal Patel, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Shadab Jakati, Sachin Rana, Sandeep Warrier, Yuzvendera Chahal
Parthiv Patel, Yogesh Takawale
THE GAME CHANGERS:
1: Chris Gayle
If there was one player who could terrorise and massacre bowlers, it would be Chris Gayle. The maverick left handed who hails from the Caribbean is one of the best players in this format of the game and his batting could prove to be the difference more often than not. His power hitting is not something everyone has. On his day any bowling attack would look mediocre. His handy death bowling is not a piece of cake for the batsmen. His slip fielding is very under rated but he is certainly no push over in that too.
2: Virat Kohli
What can be said of Virat Kohli at present? To say that he is a very good batsman who could change the match on his own is an understatement. His trademark cover drive is a shot to behold. His ability to find boundaries at will is something that not many around the world possess. Chasing under pressure is his forte and he relishes it like how fast bowlers like to bowl the new ball. Pull, cut, drive, sweep, paddle you name it and Kohli would execute it with a touch of brilliance to say the least.
3: AB De Villiers
Over the years, De Villiers has created his own style and it has proved to be very effective. His uncanny ability to innovate newer shots upsets the rhythm of the bowler and he destroys them. He is not a Gayle who is full of power nor is he a Kohli who mostly strokes his way with pure timing. He is a mixture. He is a delight to see. His fielding is nothing short of spectacular and he has bullet arms that can get the very best runners out. His wicket keeping skills add another dimension to his game.
THE DARK HORSE:
Cricket is a very cruel sport and Yuvraj Singh must be the best one to know that. After leading India to the finals of the t20 World Cup, Yuvraj choked under pressure as he scored a below par 11 of 21 balls. He received flak from all quarters but this southpaw is sure to come back stronger. He was the costliest player at the auction. Performances of late haven’t given his franchisee much hope about his batting. His bowling has not been very good either and his fielding is a shade of what it used to be. If this was anything that would happen, Yuvraj Singh’s career would be in jeopardy. Given the circumstances, Yuvraj would certainly be the dark horse of the team.
THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK:
One of the few people to have played two Under-19 World Cups, Vijay Zol is touted to be the next big thing in Indian Cricket. His mammoth 451 which he scored in a domestic game brought him on to the national picture. He was part of the Unmukt Chand led side that lifted the trophy in 2012. He has received praises from many esteemed cricketers and commentators alike. He is not a dynamic player nor is he a power hitter, he is one person who provides stability to the order. Many wouldn’t know about Zol and it would be interesting as to how RCB treat him.
Their batting is clearly their strength as they possess the likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers and Yuvraj among others. They are full of batsmen who can win matches for their side on their day. Even if one performs, their team would be in a safe situation. Their middle order too is also very good. They have a few good bowlers who can restrict the batsmen and their Indian players give them a different e. Spin would be key as they possess the Lankan great Muttiah and a few other Indian spinners.
RCB have a very good batting line up but their bowling does as much as firepower like their batting. Their death bowling would be a problem as they don’t have enough experience in their bowling. Muttiah Muralitharan is their only world famous bowler in their artillery. Ravi Rampaul and Mitchell Stark are the other two bowlers who have good international experience but they are not the bowlers that are used to this kind of crowds and pressure. Also, it would be interesting to see how they fare if Kohli, Gayle and De Villiers get out cheaply as their middle order is not in the best form as of yet.