The 11th edition of Indian Premier League has already started galloping new excitements and the X-factor which it has always possessed. With the schedules coming out, people have started their preparations for the season. IPL 11 will start on 7th April with the arch rivals Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings taking on each other in the tournament opener. We are analysing each team one by one and we will continue our discussion with a team which badly needs an IPL trophy – Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Royal Challengers Bangalore has been a team which has always run after big names instead of creating a balance in the team. That has been the reason why they have always played entertaining cricket but failed to win any trophy. Although they came really close thrice but couldn’t hold their nerves on big occasions. 2009, 2011 and 2016 were three occasions when RCB reached finals and lost twice with a very narrow margin. This year though, with a change in ownership, there has been a change in though process while picking a team.
RCB always faced issues of not having good bowlers in the squad and that has been the reason why they struggled big time. They let opponents score in the excess of 200 in 2 of the three finals which is so very difficult to chase in a knockout game. With a change in though process at the auction table, there came a change in the scenario. RCB picked some good or at least decent T20 bowlers in auction. Chris Woakes, Nathan CoulterNile, Tim Southee are three overseas fast bowling options who have done well for their respective countries. Indian options include Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Siraz, Navdeep Saini and Kulwant Khejroliya basically who have been doing well in recent domestic games.
The future of spinners will depend upon the kind of surface they get at Chinnaswami. Last year the pitch was low and slow and very much helpful for spinners. Although, RCB has the spinners who can do well on flat pitches as well. Chahal and Sundar have already proved that and they’re most likely to start the season. Pawan Negi and Murugan Ashwin are the backup options.
Talking about batting which has always been their strength except last year which really let them down, they’ve got an explosive set of batsmen again. Brendon Mccullum, Virat Kohli, AB De villiers, Quinton DeCock, Sarfaraz Khan – You’ll take this batting lineup any day of the week with the likes of Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohra and Deshpande to compliment.
Even though the team looks well on every front, there are still some areas which might concern the captain and management. One such evident area is the finisher or rather say a reliable person to do the job at 6. With Sarfaraz likely to come at 5, he needs to be complimented well to finish the inning on a high. Mandeep and Vohra are the options they’ve along with Pawan Deshpande who are yet to be tested in that role. One can also say that you might not miss a finisher much when you’ve such good top 4 and one of them bats through the inning.
The other area of concern could be the lack of death bowling options. RCB has got good fast bowlers make no mistake about that but Woakes or Umesh ain’t the players upon whom you can rely 100% to deliver in crunch situations. Although this problem still looks a minor one because they’ve got options to cover this. It will be interesting to see how they go about it. RCB has got a balanced side and they should be able to play good cricket this season.
Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Chris Woakes, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Brendon McCullum,Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Quinton De Kock, Mohammed Siraj, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin De Grandhomme, M. Ashwin, Parthiv Patel, Moeen Ali, Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohra, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Kulwant Khejroliya, Aniket Choudhary, Pavan Deshpande, Anirudha Ashok Joshi