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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

IPL 2019: Royal Challengers Bangalore look to end trophy drought

RCB came close thrice, finishing runners-up in 2009, 2011 and 2016, and were also third in two editions (2010 and 2015).

cricket Updated: Feb 15, 2019 09:57 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
File image of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.(AFP)
         

The Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore have always been regarded as one of the most glamorous outfits in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but they also carry the tag of underachievers because of the fact that they have never won the title despite reaching the final on three occasions.

One of only five teams to have played all 10 seasons – Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab are the others – they are yet to win a title. They did come close thrice, finishing runners-up in 2009, 2011 and 2016, and were also third in two editions (2010 and 2015).

Also Read: IPL 2019: Top 5 uncapped Indian cricketers to watch out for

With huge names like Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers, it is a star-studded team but its batting-heavy nature has been a cause of concern for them. However, Colin De Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Coulter Nile, Pawan Negi and Washington Sundar provide a much needed balance to the side and the new additions to the side – Marcus Stoinis and Shivam Dube – can also add an extra punch to their middle order.

From Yuzvendra Chahal and Moeen Ali in the spin department to speedsters Tim Southee and Umesh Yadav, the RCB bowling department looks quite solid and this can finally be their year to shine.

FULL SQUAD

Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Kulwant Khejroliya, Moeen Ali, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Tim Southee, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Gurkeerat Singh, Devdutt Padikal , Shivam Dube, Heinrich Klaasen, Himmat Singh, Milind Kumar, Prayas Ray Barman, Akshdeep Nath

FIVE INDIAN PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Virat Kohli – The Indian cricket team skipper is easily one of the best batsmen in the world right now irrespective of the format and with a strong team at his disposal this time, he will surely be looking to add the elusive Indian Premier League (IPL) title to his already stacked list of accomplishments.

Yuzvendra Chahal – The wrist spinner has impressed both experts and fans alike on the international stage and when it comes to the IPL, he has been the most lethal bowling option for RCB.

Also Read: IPL 2019: Shane Warne not in favour of Ricky Ponting holding a position in T20 league

Shivam Dube – The young Mumbai all-rounder has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit over the last couple of seasons and with RCB paying an impressive Rs 5 crore for him in this year’s auction, the 25-year-old will surely be looking to establish himself as a mainstay in the team.

Prayas Ray Barman – The 16-year-old leg-spinner, who was Bengal’s top wicket-taker in his debut season in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, was picked up for Rs 1.5 crore and it is the mystery surrounding the youngster that makes him a lethal weapon for his franchise in this edition of the Indian Premier League.

Akshdeep Nath – With 727 runs from 10 matches, the 25-year-old was a top performer for Uttar Pradesh in this year’s Ranji Trophy and he will be looking to justify the hefty fee of 3.60 crore.

FIVE OVERSEAS PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

AB De Villiers – De Villiers is among the most aggressive batsmen in the world and he can tear apart any attack with his 360-degree stroke-play. He has been a part of the franchise since 2010 and the onus will once again be on him to guide his team to success.

Moeen Ali – Moeen Ali has transformed himself into a bankable all-rounder for his franchise and with just four overseas slots, he will be a good addition to the side considering the match conditions.

Tim Southee – The New Zealand fast bowler is a seasoned veteran with 27 wickets in the IPL till now and thanks to his consistency and variation, he is an asset for his team during the death overs.

Also Read: IPL 2019: Top 5 overseas debutants to watch out for

Marcus Stoinis – The all-rounder was named Australia’s men’s One-Day International Player of the Year at the 2019 Australian Cricket Awards and he will surely be looking to continue his brilliant run of form.

Shimron Hetmyer - The 22-year-old was touted as one of the biggest prospects ahead of this year’s auctions and it came as no surprise that RCB paid a hefty fee of Rs 4.20 crore to acquire his services.

PAST RECORD

2008 – Seventh

2009 – Runners-up

2010 – Third

2011 – Runners-up

2012 – Fifth

2013 – Fifth

2014 – Seventh

2015 – Third

2016 – Runners-up

2017 – Eighth/last

2018 - Sixth

First Published: Feb 14, 2019 13:52 IST