IPL 2020, RCB Predicted XI: Will Aaron Finch make his RCB debut?
IPL 2020, RCB vs SRH: With a strengthened and a much more balanced squad this time around, Virat Kohli-led RCB will be itching to break the jinx of the last three years and their journey towards it begins Monday, when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad.Updated: Sep 21, 2020, 17:51 IST
Having bagged the wooden spoon twice in the last three seasons, the Royal Challengers Bangalore are under immense pressure to live up to their star power. Ahead of the IPL 2020 auction last December, hoping to spark turnaround in fortunes, RCB let go off 12 players from their previous year’s squad and spent Rs 21.5 crore to purchase some smart buys.
With a strengthened and a much more balanced squad this time around, Virat Kohli-led RCB will be itching to break the jinx of the last three years and their journey towards it begins Monday, when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad. Ahead of their series opener against the 2016 IPL champions, here’s a look at the 11 players they are likely to field.
1 Aaron Finch
RCB spent Rs 4.4 crore on Australia’s limited-overs captain Aaron Finch. The former No. 1-ranked T20I batsman in the world promises to solve RCB’s opening woes, something that has plagued them for years. RCB’s top-order failure has been RCB’s Achilles heel and with the arrival of Finch, the batting order looks a lot more settled.
2 Parthiv Patel (Wicketkeeper)
Parthiv Patel did a fine job as an opener last season, scoring 373 runs with two half-centuries. After the left-hander’s superb last season, there ideally should be no questions about his batting position in RCB, and he along with Finch is likely to be RCB’s preferred opening pair.
3 Virat Kohli (Captain)
The superstar of Indian cricket, Virat Kohli remains RCB’s best option for a No. 3 batsman. A good start at the top will give Kohli the chance to get his eye in. He may be one of world’d best limited-overs batsman, but no cricket in the last five months will be the first hurdle for Kohli the batsman to overcome.
4 AB de Villiers
Not No. 5. Not No. 6. If there’s one place AB de Villiers should bat, it’s No. 4 for RCB. De Villiers has been in the news for his potential comeback to South Africa’s national side. There is no question de Villiers’ pedigree but he too is short on match practice like his captain. The previous two seasons have yielded de Villiers 480 and 442 runs respectively, and another year on a similar note will go a long way in heading RCB into a new direction
5 Devdutt Padikkal
An absolute gun T20 batsman, RCB did not hand Devdutt Padikkal even a single game last year. However, given his exploits in the domestic circuit, that is likely to change. With 609 runs in Vijay Hazare and another 580 at the Syed Mushtaq Ali series, Padikkal set the domestic season on fire and is capable of doing it for RCB.
6 Chris Morris
South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris was RCB’s most expensive buy at Rs 10 crore. Morris has played some remarkable innings previously for the Delhi Capitals and he will be expected to play the role of a finisher, a position that RCB have been fretting over for long.
7 Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar is your ideal IPL spinner. He will bowl with guile, mix some variations and at times, finish with an extremely useful economy rate. Surprisingly, he was underutilised by Kohli last year, getting to play just three games. Besides, Sundar is a highly useful bat down the order and RCB wouldn’t want to miss out on a player of such calibre.
8 Dale Steyn
The return of the Steyn gun. Not getting injured will be at the top of Steyn’s priority list. Last season, the SA quick got injured and had to leave the season midway. This year around, managing him wisely will be a major responsibility for Kohli. As per RCB team director Mike Hesson, Steyn has been “developing his game” and will have a lot to offer this season.
9 Yuzvendra Chahal
RCB’s spin spearhead, Yuzvendra Chahal has been with the franchise since 2014 and has bowled many match-winning spells for the franchise. Last year, Chahal’s stocks in limited-overs internationals have slightly dipped and the leg-spinner will be keen to rediscover his mojo keeping in mind next year’s T20 World Cup.
10 Navdeep Saini
India’s newest pace sensation, Navdeep Saini has been guilty of leaking runs but at the same time, he also has troubled the batsmen with his pace. Last season, Saini picked up 11 wickets from 13 matches and will be eyeing to better it this time around.
11 Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj was one of RCB’s most expensive bowlers last year, going at 9.55 an over. The two seasons prior to it, he leaked runs at 8.85 and 9.21 respectively. That said, Kohli has always backed him to the hilt, which can be gauged by the fact that he played nine matches. During RCB’s yorker challenge, Siraj was on the mark, and if he can replicate that in the match, nothing like it.