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Elusive IPL title looks gettable for underachievers RCB

September 16, 2020 17:12 IST
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The bowling attack looks the most settled this year and if batting manages to compliment the bowling, RCB can expect to have a solid season.

RCB seniors AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli at a team training session 

IMAGE: RCB seniors AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli at a team training session. Photograph: RCB/Twitter

Can the perennial under-achievers of the Indian Premier League turn around their fortunes this time?

The Royal Challengers Bangalore look to have a more balanced squad this season since the 2016 edition when the Virat Kohli-led team reached their third final but could not cross the finish line.

In the players' auction held in December 2019, the franchise managed to add the likes of Aaron Finch, Joshua Philippe, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, and Pavan Deshpande to further strengthen their line-up.

 

The batting has never been an issue for RCB as the side already has gun players in the form of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Moeen Ali, Parthiv Patel and now the addition of Finch has further strengthened the ranks. The franchise can chase down any total and opposition for sure would be sweating over the quality batting arsenal of RCB.

RCB paid Rs 10 crore for the services of South African bowling all-rounder Chris Morris and the management will be relying heavily on him for those tight spells in the death overs and the big hits lower down the order.

Ever since Chris Gayle's departure in 2017, the batting has revolved around Kohli and A B de Villiers but they will certainly feel a lot less burdened with the arrival of Australian white-ball captain Aaron Finch.

Kohli can either open with Finch or come in at one down to make way for Parthiv Patel or the highly rated Devdutt Padikkal to opening alongside the Australian.

The onus will also be on the likes of Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Shivam Dube to do the job lower down the order.

With Moeen Ali the Bangalore team has an overseas all-rounder alongside Morris, who can give the ball a good whack late in the innings.

Dale Steyn will play a crucial role in RCB's chances at winning this season

IMAGE: Dale Steyn will play a crucial role in RCB's chances at winning this season. Photograph: RCB/Twitter

Bowling of RCB has been a concern for the longest time and the side has been searching for a death bowler. This year the responsibility would be on Dale Steyn, Umesh Yadav, and Navdeep Saini to do the needful during the death overs. Bowling coach of RCB, Adam Griffith has been seen devoting time with the bowlers in getting them prepared for bowling perfect yorkers.

Sri Lanka's Udana may be given a chance in the playing XI if Steyn or Morris do not have a good outing with the ball initially.

The IPL 2020 will be played in the UAE so spinners are expected to have a field day on slow and low pitches.

There is likely to be a toss-up between offie Moeen and leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who comes into the squad as a late replacement for pacer Kane Richardson.

Yuzvendra Chahal, Zampa, Moeen are the high-profile names in the spin department and they would be relied upon heavily to do the job. RCB also has Washington Sundar as an option so for the first time in the last five years, Kohli has a side that can possibly go all the way this year.

The bowling attack looks the most settled this year and if batting manages to compliment the bowling, RCB can expect to have a solid season.

With a new coaching staff in place, including Mike Hesson and Simon Katich, and a beefed-up squad, RCB do have a shot at an elusive title.

Their loyal fans back in Bengaluru will be hoping they don't flatter to deceive this time around and do a lot better than the past three seasons, when they finished eighth, sixth and eighth.

RCB open their campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on September 21.

Squad: Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Gurkeerat Singh, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Navdeep Saini, Dale Steyn, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Isuru Udana, Moeen Ali, Josh Phillppe, Pawan Negi, Pavan Deshpande, Mohammad Siraj, Umesh Yadav.

 

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