Tuesday 15 April 2014 

IPL 2014 Team Preview - Royal Challengers Bangalore

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli is one of a star-studded cast of RCB batsmen
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

What do Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh have in common? All are dangerous match-winners and play for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

The line-up itself will torment their opponents. Gayle has always been the most prolific scorer for RCB and the threat he possess is just enormous, bowlers will remember his innings of 175 runs in 66 balls every time they bowl to him.

Up to now for RCB he has hit four centuries at a strike rate of 160.20 with 180 sixes, in short he is by far the most devastating batsmen in IPL history. Kohli and de Villiers are currently the top two batsmen in world cricket across any format and everybody will acknowledge the same.

The range of shots that both possess will give no margin for error to bowlers. It’s a dream of every team to have Gayle, de Villiers and Kohli in their team and RCB will feel very fortunate to have them. The only concern for RCB is the form of Gayle; he had a poor World T20 and he will like to change that with good performances in IPL.

Other than the destructive four (Gayle, Kohli, de Villiers and Yuvraj), they have Parthiv Patel who will keep wickets as well as open the batting with Gayle and Albie Morkel who will provide the firepower towards the end if required.

Another interesting batting prospect RCB has is India’s Under-19 captain Vijay Zol who has many admirers and is certainly a rising star of Indian cricket - keep an eye on him too.

The highlight of this year’s IPL auction was none other than Yuvraj as RCB paid a jaw dropping $US 2.3 million to rope him in. This is a staggering number to be paid for any player and though Yuvraj has been a champion player for India I feel he is not the same Yuvraj we used to know say three years ago.

RCB in a way handicapped themselves with that big buy during the auction and will hope that the risk pays off.

To strengthen their bowling RCB bought Mitchell Starc, Ashok Dinda, Ravi Rampaul, Muttiah Muralitharan and Varun Aaron. The striking thing about this bowling line-up is except Starc, nobody represented their country in the recently concluded World T20 which means they might not be at the top of their game at the moment.

It is to be seen how the legendary Muralitharan perform in this year’s IPL as he is the most senior bowler of the team. He will be supported by left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati (who played his IPL matches for Chennai Super Kings previously) and the young leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

Overall the bowling line-up looks good but does not have any proven match-winners in this format.

On paper, RCB always look good but their main problem had been their bowling which had let them down in previous seasons. They will hope that this season their bowlers perform as good as their batsmen and if they do, we might see RCB winning the IPL for the first time.

© Cricket World 2014