Royal Challengers Bangalore got off to yet another disappointing start to an IPL season. After winning only one of their first four matches, RCB is languishing at the 7th position in the points table.
With players like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock and Yuzvendra Chahal in the squad, RCB was amongst the top contenders for the title.However, the team has failed to perform collectively, which has resulted in its poor show.
The 30-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman was a key player in the Mumbai Indians’ squad from 2015 to 2017, opening the batting for them for all three seasons. He formed a formidable partnership with Lendl Simmons and Jos Buttler and gave the Indians a good start on a number of occasions.He will most likely come into the team in place of De Kock who has looked out of sorts in the IPL.
Brendan McCullum has been in poor form this season and RCB’s chances this year hinges a lot on how Baz gives them a fast start which he has failed to give in the recent matches.Teams have identified him to be vulnerable against spin and usually start the innings with spinners.
Skipper Virat Kohli, irrespective of the situation, will walk in at number three. Chasing a target well above 200,Kohli scored a quick fire 92 off 62 balls,the current holder of the Orange Cap, he will need support from his other batsmen if RCB are to set up a target or chase down the target.
AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers has undoubtedly been RCB’s best middle-order batsman since he joined the side in 2011. He has single-handedly taken RCB to numerous victories over the years and produced some breathtaking knocks along the way.He has been off colour in last two matches for RCB and thus has hurt RCB a lot.He is bound to come good.
In a team with the likes of Kohli, De Villiers, McCullum, Mandeep has been the most consistent of RCB batsmen and providing the finishing touches to innings which RCB have missed in the previous editions of the IPL.
Manan Vohra was bought by RCB at the auction for Rs. 1.10 crore. The dashing Punjab batsman was fantastic for his previous franchise, Kings XI Punjab.
Manan Vohra can be a direct replacement for the out-of-form Sarfaraz Khan. In the 3 matches that Sarfaraz has played so far, he has scored a meagre 11 runs. Manan Vohra can open the innings with Quinton de Kock which will allow Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to take control of the game by batting in the middle overs.
Moeen Ali has been part of England’s limited-overs squad for a long time now and was bought by RCB for Rs. 1.70 crore at the auction. However, surprisingly he hasn’t been included in the playing XI till now.
Ali, who has the ability to play big shots against both seamers as well as spinners, can provide the much-needed stability to RCB’s fragile lower-middle order. Also, with RCB’s premier spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar, giving away too many runs in the middle overs, Ali’s inclusion will give another spin option to Virat Kohli.
A poor performance from the youngster in the previous match conceding 32 in his 2 overs and playing a rash shot when he could have taken the team over the line with Kohli.He will like to improve on that aspect in this match.
One of the major reasons for RCB’s dismal performance in this year’s IPL has been their bowlers’ poor form. Bowlers have neither been able to stop the flow of runs nor been able to take wickets at crucial moments.
One player who can solve RCB’s bowling woes is Tim Southee. Southee hasn’t joined RCB’s squad till now, but after the match against Mumbai Indians, Coach Daniel Vettori said that Southee will join the team in a couple of days.
Arguably one of the best T20 bowlers in the world right now, Yuzvendra Chahal came into the limelight after some noteworthy performances in the IPL.He was off colour in the first two games by his high standards but came good in the last game,picking two important wickets in the middle overs.
Yadav has been impressive but has also been erratic at times. While Kohli should stick to Yadav as the leader of the attack, he could opt to rest him for Siraf, who has also shown a lot of promise especially during the middle overs and at the death.