Royal Challengers Bangalore – IPL 2021 Preview

Royal Challengers Bangalore – IPL 2021 Preview
16.03.2021,13:03 152 0

Royal Challengers Bangalore, popularly known as RCB, has been one of the most talked-about teams in the IPL. Despite having many superstars, including the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle in the team, RCB has failed time and again to bring the trophy home. The dynamic team of RCB is led by an iconic cricketer and an exceptional batsman – Virat Kohli. He became captain of RCB in 2013 and playing against Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2020, he became the third Indian to play 150 T20s as a captain. Let’s look at RCB’s history, the 2021 IPL auctions and things to look out for in the IPL 2021.

Through the Years in IPL

Founded in 2008 by United Spirits Limited, Royal Challengers Bangalore was named after the company’s liquor brand Royal Challenge. RCB is a franchise cricket team based in Bangalore, Karnataka. The Challengers play their home matches at five-decades-old picturesque M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. Some of the great overseas players like AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Aaron Finch, Chris Morris and Moeen Ali have played for RCB.

After the disastrous outcome in the maiden IPL season (2008), RCB bounced back under Anil Kumble’s leadership in the second edition to end as runners-up (2009). In 2010, they again put up a good show and reached the semifinal, in which they lost to Mumbai Indians. Eventually, they defeated Deccan Chargers in the third-fourth place playoff to finish third. In 2011, RCB again reached the final under Daniel Vettori’s captaincy but lost to Chennai Super Kings. After ending fifth and seventh in the next two seasons, RCB reached the playoffs for the first time under Virat Kohli in 2015. Chennai Super Kings once again blocked their road to glory by defeating RCB by 3 wickets. For RCB, IPL seasons 2017, 2018 and 2019 have been disastrous.

In the previous IPL season (2020), RCB entered the playoffs yet again only to get eliminated by Sunrisers Hyderabad. Twenty-year-old emerging batsman Devdutt Padikkal scored the most runs for RCB. He made 473 runs in 15 innings, followed by Virat Kohli (466 runs) and AB de Villiers (454 runs). Yuzvendra Chahal led the bowling unit and topped the most wickets chart with 21 wickets, followed by Chris Morris and Mohammed Siraj with 11 wickets each.

Over the years, RCB adopted the mantra of #PlayBold which echoes both on and off the field. They believe in the tag line – “Defeats don’t defeat us, the Challenger Spirit keeps us alive”.

Since the first IPL season (2008), RCB played 196 matches, won 91, lost 101 and 4 matches yielded no results. Going by their winning percentage (47.13) they are ranked sixth among 13 different franchises overall.

Top Players

In the history of the IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore has had many big-profile players like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chirs Gayle. Moreover, top players like Shane Watson, Moeen Ali, KL Rahul have been associated with RCB for a few seasons.

Rockstar batsman Chris Gayle joined RCB in 2011. For three straight years, 2011, 2012 and 2013, he scored 600 plus runs (608, 733 and 708) and scored four centuries – that also included the brilliant innings of 175 not out against Pune Warriors India. Overall, Gayle amassed 3163 runs in 85 matches playing for RCB.

Virat Kohli was the only player who was retained ahead of the 2011 IPL season and he scored 557 runs. In the IPL 2016, he amassed a whopping 973 runs with four awe-inspiring centuries. He is the top run-scorer in the IPL history, with 5878 runs from 184 innings, including 5 centuries and 39 half-centuries and the highest score of 113.

AB de Villiers, known as Mr 360, has produced numerous excellent innings for RCB. His onslaught on Dale Steyn in 2012 remains one of the most unforgettable knocks. In 156 IPL innings, he scored 4849 runs with 3 centuries and 38 half-centuries, with a strike rate over 150.

Among the bowlers, Yuzvendra Chahal is RCB’s top pick. Chahal was roped in by RCB in the IPL 2014 for his base price. In the IPL 2015 and 2016, Chahal took 23 and 21 wickets. From 99 matches he played for RCB, he took 121 wickets, the most by an RCB bowler.

IPL 2021 Auctions

RCB this time needed overseas all-rounders and middle-order batsmen. They targeted Glenn Maxwell, Chris Morris, Jhye Richardson and Kyle Jamieson. Out of these, they could get Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson. They also bid for Shahrukh Khan for the middle order but lost it to Punjab Kings.

Royal Challengers Bangalore spent nearly INR 49.10 CR and they are still left with INR 35 CR. Total 11 slots are still open for them, including 3 overseas slots. RCB made big-money purchases to rope in Kyle Jamieson for INR 15 crore and Glenn Maxwell (INR 14.25 crore). The bid for Glenn Maxwell was quite a fierce one with CSK. However, CSK stopped when RCB bid INR 14.25 Cr. for the Big Show.

They also made a smart purchase to have Kerala’s opener Mohammed Azharuddeen for his best price of INR 20 lakh. Azharuddeen caught the limelight for his 37-ball century in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. RCB also “traded in” Daniel Sams and Harshal Patel.

Let’s take a look at the players retained and left out by RCB before the 2021 auctions.

Players RetainedPlayers Left out
Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Adam Zampa, Shahbaz Ahmed, Josh Philippe, Kane Richardson, Pawan Deshpande.Aaron Finch, Chris Morris, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Moeen Ali, Parthiv Patel (retired from all forms of cricket), Pawan Negi, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, Dale Steyn, Isuru Udana.

Here’s the list of players bought by RCB for the IPL 2021.

Players Bought (Price INR)
Kyle Jamieson (INR 15 crore), Glenn Maxwell (INR 14.25 crore), Daniel Christian (INR 4.8 crore), Sachin Baby (INR 20 lakh), Rajat Patidar (INR 20 lakh), Mohammed Azharuddeen (INR 20 lakh), Suyash Prabhudesai (INR 20 lakh), KS Bharat (INR 20 lakh)

RCB Full Squad

Below is the full squad of Royal Challengers Bangalore for the IPL 2021.

Virat Kohli (capt), AB de Villiers, Adam Zampa, Daniel Christian, Daniel Sams, Devdutt Padikkal, Glenn Maxwell, Harshal Patel, Joshua Philippe, Kane Richardson, KS Bharat, Kyle Jamieson, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Pavan Deshpande, Rajat Patidar, Sachin Baby, Shahbaz Ahmed, Suyash Prabhudessai, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Important Players in IPL 2021

RCB has been traditionally relying on Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers in batting and Yuzvendra Chahal in bowling. RCB’s success in the IPL 2021 will once again rely on them. Additionally, Glenn Maxwell’s entry has strengthened the middle order and it will take some pressure off Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Maxwell has scored 6674 T20 runs from 286 innings with a strike rate of 152.4. In the IPL, he has maintained his 150 plus strike rate.

New Zealand’s 6-feet-8-inch-tall Kyle Jamieson’s inclusion is expected to boost the pace attack along with Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj, who was applauded for his performance in Tests against Australia in Australia. In 35 IPL matches, Siraj has taken 39 wickets, with the best bowling figures of 4 for 32. Washington Sundar too can be handy with his all-round performance. Recently he has played crucial roles in Tests against England and Australia.

Conclusion

Even after 13 IPL seasons, RCB still yearns for the silverware despite abundant funds and some of the greatest players in the squad. On March 9, 2021, they begin yet another journey for their eluding trophy, once again under the leadership of Indian great batsman Virat Kohli. He will get the usual company from AB de Villiers. Washington Sundar and Mohammed Siraj have performed well in Tests against Australia and England recently and the same can be expected from them in the IPL as well. It’s not sure who will be the champion of the IPL 2021 with so many teams having top-class players from all over the world, but once again RCB will #PlayBold and be the front-runners for the title.

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