Another season of Indian Premier League (IPL) begins with a lot of expectations from Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). This year, it’s not just about their loyal fans but there aren’t a lot of naysayers. It’s safe to say, there is a genuine positive buzz about the franchise as they look to clinch the elusive title.
After finishing with the wooden spoon twice in the last 3 seasons, Virat Kohli’s men have opted to start from scratch this year.
While they retained their core group of players, the support staff has changed. Reputed former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has taken over as the Director of Cricket while former Australia batsman Simon Katich has come on board as the head coach.
The trio of Hesson, Katich and Kohli seem to have worked towards plugging the holes right from the auction day.
RCB were known to be a batting-heavy unit but that perception seems to have changed with the likes of Isuru Udana, Chris Morris, Adam Zampa and Dale Steyn joining the squad. While they have a high-quality spin unit, there are some exciting youngsters to watch out for in Devdutt Padikkal and Shahbaz Ahmed.
While RCB would be missing the atmosphere of a packed M Chinnaswamy Stadium this year, the Bengaluru bowlers will be looking forward to showcasing their skills at bigger venues and not worry about top-edges flying into the stands at their home.
RCB’s IPL History
RCB have come close to winning the title on 3 occasions. However, they have been known for being an inconsistent group. 8th, 6th and 8th-place finishes over the last 3 years doesn’t read well for a team that has some exciting firepower.
2008: Ended 7th in the points table
2009: IPL Runners Up
2010: Qualified for playoffs eventually finishing in 3rd place
2011: IPL Runners Up
2012: Qualified for playoffs eventually finishing in the 5th place
2013: Qualified for playoffs eventually finishing in the 5th place
2014: Qualified for playoffs eventually finishing in the 7th place
2015: Qualified for playoffs eventually finishing in 3rd place
2016: IPL Runners Up
2017: Ended 8th in the points table
2018: Ended 6th in the points table
2019: Ended 8th in the points table
RCB at IPL 2020: Key Players to Watch Out For
Courtesy by BCCI
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers: It’s hard to look past the batting geniuses when talking about RCB’s strengths. The star batsmen have set and shattered records at will over the years in the Red and Gold jersey but they would be looking to make a tournament-winning impact this season.
Kohli is heading into the season after the enforced break due to the pandemic which must have come as a blessing in disguise for one of the busiest cricketers going around. On the other hand, AB de Villiers sent a warning notice to the rest of the teams with his performance in the 3T tournament in July.
Aaron Finch: While Aaron Finch will add firepower to the batting unit at the top of the order, the Australian skipper has a bigger role to play in the leadership group. Along with the likes of AB de Villiers and Steyn, Finch can provide Kohli the much-needed space to focus on his primary role as a batsman a bit more.
Yuzvendra Chahal: The leg-spinner is going to be the leader of what seems to be a potent spin attack. Chahal will be keen on making a winning impact for RCB, especially on conditions that he will relish in the UAE. With the likes of Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Adam Zampa and Moeen Ali for company, Chahal & Co. look a formidable unit.
RCB’s biggest threats – MI and CSK
Courtesy by BCCI
It’s not surprising that Royal Challengers Bangalore have a positive record only against Delhi Capitals in the history of the IPL — 14 wins, 8 more than their losses.
They have struggled against the two powerhouses of the IPL — Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, maintaining a win percentage as low as 33.3 percent against both the sides.
RCB have lost 16 matches while winning only 8 against CSK and have lost 18 matches while winning only 9 against MI.
RCB: Stats that cannot be missed
Despite being one of the most successful batsmen in the IPL, Virat Kohli has the lowest win percentage when it comes to captains with at least 50 matches. Kohli has led RCB in 110 matches, losing 55 of them with a win percentage of 47.16. MS Dhoni tops the list with 60.11 percentage.
Virat Kohli is leading the run-scorers list in IPL 2020 with 5,412 runs, 44 runs more than Suresh Raina who has opted out of IPL 2020. Kohli has a good chance to extend his lead at the top. Rohit Sharma is at the 3rd spot with 4898 runs.
RCB probable playing XI at IPL 2020
Aaron Finch, Devdut Padikkal, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers (wk), Shivam Dube, Shahbaz Ahmed, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav, Isuru Udana, Yuzvendra Chahal.