Royal Challengers Bangalore has been one of the popular sides and followed side since the start. After having few forgetful seasons to start with, the fortunes of the side started since Virat Kohli took over the captaincy in 2013. He led RCB to the finals last season unfortunately losing out to Sunrisers Hyderabad on the night.
In this feature we will do a SWOT analysis of RCB where we will be discussing their strengths, weaknesses, their chances this season and their probable best XI.
Batting Strength: RCB has always been a batting heavy team. The likes of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB De Villiers, Shane Watson provide all the firepower in the batting line up. Then again people like KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav provide the stability in the batting order and the advantage with them is that they can bat at aby position and according to the situation of the game.
The middle order has also has resources like Staurt Binny, Sachin Baby, Travis Head and Sarfaraz Khan all of whom have provided their weight on gold for the franchise over time.
Bowling Strength: Bowling has always been RCB’s weakness in the past and keeping that in mind they bought some good players in the auctions this season. They bought the recent international bowling sensation Tymal Mills for 12 crore. His recent good show in the T20 series against India might have inspired the franchise to make this move. Apart from that they have roped in another foreign recruit in Billy Stanlake for a reasonable price of 30 lakh. He too represented Australia recently in the T20 series against Australia.
Among the Indian bowlers RCB has Iqbal Abdullah, Srinath Arvind, Stuart Binny who will be a good follow up the foreign contingent of bowlers. They added England pacer Chris Jordan to the squad last season, thereby adding the potency to the bowling attack, especially in the bowling attack. They have good pace in the form of Adam Milne, spin in the form of the South African Tabraiz Shamzi. They have also roped in Pawan Negi for a core into the side, thereby keeping all options open for themselves.
A close look at their recent buys will prove that RCB has looked to fill the loopholes and hence players like Tymal Mills, Billy Stanlake and Pawan Negi are decent buys. Most importantly the core of the team is made and the other players will look to revolve around them.
Kohli has been in prime form since the last IPL season. He has scored more than 1000 runs in the different formats since then. He has been lacking runs in the Test series against Australia in the ongoing series, but ones believes that by the time IPL comes; Kohli will be back to his best.
COC’s probable playing XI: Virat Kohli (C) , Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, AB De Villiers , Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Stuart Binny, Iqbal Abdulla, Yuzvendra Chahal, Tymal Mills, Harshal Patel.
COC’s Take: Keeping in mind the look of the squad, RCB should definitely finish in the top four this year. They have all the firepower and the quality to play the finals and it will be no surprise if they go one better this season and lift the trophy this year.