Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) aim to bounce back when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier Leagu (IPL) on Saturday.(PTI)
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) aim to bounce back when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier Leagu (IPL) on Saturday.(PTI)

IPL 2018: Virat Kohli’s RCB ponder failed squad shuffle ahead of KKR face-off

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s quest for a first Indian Premier League (IPL) title has once again got off to a poor start as they face twice former champions Kolkata Knight Riders.
By Khurram Habib | Hindustan Times, Bangalore
UPDATED ON APR 28, 2018 09:10 PM IST

Brendon McCullum holds a special place in Indian Premier League (IPL) history. His unbeaten 158 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the inaugural match of the league in April 2008 gave a flying start that a new league needed.

Ten seasons later, McCullum is back at the venue where he once captured the imagination of fans across the world with his blistering batting. However, he is only on the bench now after failing in three matches.

McCullum’s KKR link

Ahead of another RCB-KKR tie here on Sunday, the New Zealand batsman, now in the home camp, would be fighting off some memories. His team is languishing at sixth in the points table while KKR are two places above them.

The former New Zealand skipper was picked to add prowess to the top-order batting as RCB looked to replace an ageing Chris Gayle, who had not clicked over the last two seasons.

READ | Hasin Jahan accuses Mohammad Shami of age-fudging and fooling BCCI

However, Gayle is back in form in Kings XI Punjab colours even as RCB struggle to get off to flying starts. Skipper Virat Kohli, who began the season batting at No 3 has pushed himself back to the top where Quinton de Kock has been just about okay.

Add to that, RCB’s decision to let go off the big-hitting KL Rahul, who too is in KXIP and doing well, leaves a lot on the shoulders of AB de Villiers. On the other hand, Sarfaraz Khan, who was retained, hasn’t got going in the middle order.

The South African star has been doing well, scoring quicker than others, especially in the 7-10-over period that is generally the most slow-scoring in T20 cricket. But it seems he will need to do a lot more as the rest of RCB players haven’t been up to scratch.

Letting go Watson

RCB also seem to have blundered by not picking Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson, who didn’t have a great IPL 2017 season. Watson had been an important cog in RCB’s wheel over the last few seasons, picking 20 wickets in 2016. RCB miss him as their bowling is in tatters.

READ | Prithvi Shaw, Delhi Daredevils opener, matches Sanju Samson’s IPL record

Watson, on his part, is doing wonders for Chennai Super Kings this year with bat and ball. His form with CSK must have left Kohli contemplating as the RCB skipper is struggling not just to add bite to his bowling that has lacked depth, but also to have some good hitters late in the innings. Watson would have performed both these jobs with aplomb.

RCB tried Kiwi all-rounder Corey Anderson in the last few matches but with disastrous results. In fact, he and paceman Mohammed Siraj let MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings snatch a win from the jaws of defeat.

Perhaps one player who may get a look-in on Sunday is England’s off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali.

That KKR are coming off a couple of losses should give RCB some comfort. The Dinesh Karthik-led side’s bowling looked toothless in the last two games, especially against Delhi Daredevils on Friday.

That gives Kohli and Co a ray of hope.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
File image of Rishabh Pant.(BCCI)
File image of Rishabh Pant.(BCCI)

‘His shot selection has improved': Dasgupta says Pant is ‘enjoying his cricket’

PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 10:42 AM IST
Pant’s dynamic comeback after a series of failure in the previous years has delighted former Indian stumper Deep Dasgupta.
Close
Kevin Pietersen and Joe Root.(File/PTI)
Kevin Pietersen and Joe Root.(File/PTI)

'Some batters couldn't aggregate 100 runs in 6 weeks': Pietersen defends Root

PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 10:00 AM IST
While the England batting unit is facing flak for not being able to apply themselves in tough conditions, Pietersen defended Root saying that as a captain, he had other areas to focus on as well.
Close
Rishabh Pant and Jos Buttler.(PTI/File)
Rishabh Pant and Jos Buttler.(PTI/File)

'Pant smashing century, while Buttler is in hotel room doesn't look right'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 09:13 AM IST
Writing in a column for the Daily Mail, Hussain said that he understands the reasons behind the policy, but questioned the manner it was implemented.
Close
File photo of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri.(Reuters)
File photo of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri.(Reuters)

'Get rid of excuses': Shastri reveals what captain Kohli wanted from his team

UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 09:08 AM IST
In a recent interaction with the media, after India defeated England in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad, Shastri said that one of the things that he has learned since becoming head coach is the importance of man-management.
Close
Kane Williamson, New Zealand captain.(Getty Images)
Kane Williamson, New Zealand captain.(Getty Images)

NZ skipper Williamson out of Bangladesh series with elbow injury

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 08:18 AM IST
Williamson, who led the 'Black Caps' to a 3-2 T20 series win over Australia on Sunday, has a small tear in his left elbow tendon and had been "experiencing irritation" in the latter half of the summer, NZC said in a statement.
Close
Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh.(100MB Youtube/Screengrab)
Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh.(100MB Youtube/Screengrab)

'Our god still not giving up on cricket': Sehwag leaves Sachin, Yuvraj in splits

PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 08:06 AM IST
The trio, who are part of the Indian Legends, will face England Legends in Match 9 on Tuesday and ahead of fixture, the three former India batsmen were spotted in a jovial mood. I
Close
India's Mohammad Siraj celebrates a dismissal with teammates during the 4th Test Match between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday. (BCCI/ANI Photo)
India's Mohammad Siraj celebrates a dismissal with teammates during the 4th Test Match between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday. (BCCI/ANI Photo)

Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar use IPL as launchpad for Test career

By Rasesh Mandani
PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 07:46 AM IST
The RCB duo has used inherent strengths to showcase worth in Test cricket, in the historic series in Australia and against England.
Close
Sourav Ganguly and Rishabh Pant.(File/Reuters)
Sourav Ganguly and Rishabh Pant.(File/Reuters)

'In my time, we had Sehwag, Yuvraj, Dhoni': Ganguly hails 'game-changer' Pant

PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 07:29 AM IST
Ganguly, a former India captain, who has given some of the best match-winners to Indian cricket, such as the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, and MS Dhoni, feels Pant possesses traits similar to these aforementioned names.
Close
India cricketers warm up. (BCCI/Twitter)
India cricketers warm up. (BCCI/Twitter)

Mithali-led India eye comeback against South Africa

By Sharad Deep, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 10:50 PM IST
  • Mithali Raj-led hosts eye a comeback post an eight wicket loss in the opener on Sunday.
Close
Sam Curran bowls in the nets. (Getty Images)
Sam Curran bowls in the nets. (Getty Images)

If CSK reaches final, it might be bit different: Sam Curran on NZ Test series

PTI, Ahmedabad
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 09:44 PM IST
With the ongoing debate in England about England players choosing IPL over Test matches, Curran's statement was like a reality check for English cricket.
Close
File picture of Michael Vaughan(Getty Images)
File picture of Michael Vaughan(Getty Images)

England cricket's leadership power lies with Morgan, not Root: Vaughan

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 09:06 PM IST
Vaughan is clearly not happy with the policy as he argued that England Test skipper Joe Root should also get to pick his best players irrespective of ECB's rotation policy.
Close
File image of Sourav Ganguly. (Getty Images)
File image of Sourav Ganguly. (Getty Images)

India-New Zealand World Test Championship final in Southampton: Ganguly

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 08:50 PM IST
  • Southampton, with a five-star facility inside the stadium, will make it easier for both the ICC and the England and Wales Cricket Board to create a bio-bubble for the two teams.
Close
The Indian national women's team ahead of the first ODI against South Africa. (BCCI)
The Indian national women's team ahead of the first ODI against South Africa. (BCCI)

India women's team to play one-off Test against England

Reuters, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 08:57 PM IST
  • It will be India women's first game in the longest format of the game since November 2014 when the Indian players took on South Africa.
Close
KL Rahul in action during the Australia series. (Getty Images)
KL Rahul in action during the Australia series. (Getty Images)

T20I dilemmas: Tough calls between Dhawan and Rahul, Chahar and Bhuvneshwar

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 06:50 PM IST
  • India vs England: The Indian team management faces a problem of plenty going into the five T20I against England starting Friday.
Close
Devdutt Padikkal celebrates his fourth consecutive List-A century.(Twitter)
Devdutt Padikkal celebrates his fourth consecutive List-A century.(Twitter)

Ton-up Padikkal sends message to selectors as Karnataka thrash Kerala

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 06:27 PM IST
  • Padikkal sent a strong message to the national selectors before England ODIs as he slammed his fourth consecutive List A ton.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP