“Ee Sala Cup Namdhe” (This year the trophy is ours)- A tagline you will expect to hear from all RCB fans throughout this season. In the previous seasons, RCB was known for its big hitters at the top – Gayle, Kohli and ABD. All that changed this year when Gayle was let go off by the team, and the team bringing on a good mix of bowlers and all-rounders, which should provide RCB the thing it lacked for many seasons now.

The team has always had the star power to win the trophy, which continues to elude the team till date. Despite making an appearance in the finals thrice, RCB have lost each one of them choking at crucial points in the matches. Can RCB make it to the finals this time and lift the ever-elusive trophy for the first time?

STRENGTHS

Explosive Batting At the Top

Despite letting go Gayle from this season’s roster, RCB still have two big names in the squad – Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. They will now be joined by two more T20 specialists – Brendon McCullum and Quinton De Cock. Just like how the batting of the former duo clicked for RCB in 2016, think what it would look like when they are joined by these 2 explosive batsmen as well.

Apart from these 4 players, there are also Sarfaraz Khan and Mandeep Singh, who is known for pinch hitting towards the end of an innings. Sarfaraz has rightly showcased those skills in a few innings in IPL 2015, earning appraisals from the team and other players as well. Mandeep has had memorable performances for KXIP and RCB as well. RCB will hope their batting provides them the firepower, just like it did in 2016.

A Good mix of All-Rounders

RCB has added a good number of all-rounders from around the world – Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Corey Anderson. All these players have the ability to demolish the opposition with their batting and/or their bowling (which RCB would remember as Woakes and de Grandhomme were a part of the KKR squad that demolished them for 49 all out last year). Presence of these players ensures that RCB have a deep-down batting line up. Apart from their batting they will also support the bowlers, an area which has been RCB’s Achilles Heel for quite a long time now.

Spin Combinations

Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar and Pawan Negi – all three capable bowlers who can take wickets as well as control the run rate of the opposition. Washington Sundar, who will be debuting for RCB this season, has rightly showed the ability to control runs in the powerplay, which could prove an asset for the team. Negi, last season’s highest wicket taker and Chahal, have the abilities to regularly take wickets. Not all will play, but whoever plays can be destructive on the fiels

WEAKNESSES

The Lesser Known Players

This looks quite a concern as players who have shown promise like Sarfaraz, Aniket Chowdary and Navdeep Saini haven’t had a great domestic T20 season this year. A lot would depend on players like these if things don’t go well at the top, specially Sarfaraz who was the only retained uncapped player in the auctions and has shown a lot of promise.

Seam Bowlers And All-Rounders

Despite having bought a number of quality overseas pace bowlers and all rounders at the auction, not all of them will play, and this could prove to be a problem going towards the business end of the tournament.

PLAY-OFF CHANCES

If they can get together like a team, unlike the last season, RCB have a good chance to finish at 3rd or 4th with such a good squad they have.

LIKELY LINEUP

Virat Kohli, Quinton De Kock, Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Siraj


Sparker0i

Little World

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