RCB (Royal Challengers Bangalore) have been perennial underachievers in the IPL over the years despite having stellar names in their ranks. They have reached the final on a couple of occasions, but fell agonizingly short of clinching their first IPL title on both.
For the past few years, a debate has raged about whether the RCB batting depends a lot on the likes of skipper Virat Kohli and Proteas star AB de Villiers. The duo has been among most prolific run-getters for the franchise.
5 RCB players to watch out for in IPL 2021
This time though, RCB have made some smart additions to their squad and have invested heavily in overseas talent too. There are quite a few players from this squad who stand out and will be the pillars of their title challenge this season.
Here are five players who could help RCB win the IPL 2021 season:
#5 Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal has been one of the go-to bowlers for Kohli ever since he signed for RCB back in 2014. He also broke into the Indian team through impressive performances in the IPL and has gone on to become the leading wicket-taker for the Men In Blue in the shortest format.
Although Chahal has not been in great form of late, he still continues to be one of the most important bowlers for RCB. In just 99 IPL games, he has a brilliant 121 wickets to his name and this speaks volumes about how crucial he has been to Kohli and his men.
With IPL returning to India this season, Chahal might get a bit of extra purchase from the surfaces. This will make him an even more dangerous bowler to deal with. It is safe to say that RCB's chances of having a successful IPL 2021 season will rely a lot on how Chahal bowls this time around.
Get the full list of all IPL winners from 2008 to 2020 here.
#4 Devdutt Padikkal
IPL 2020 was probably the first season in a number of years for RCB where the burden of scoring runs was off the shoulders of Kohli and De Villiers. This was because young Devdutt Padikkal took up the mantle. He ended up as the highest run-scorer for the franchise with 473 runs to his name.
The left-hander took his scintillating form into the 2021 Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he slammed four hundreds in a row for Karnataka, breaking a number of records on the way.
His red-hot form will surely keep RCB upbeat before the IPL 2021 season. Unfortunately, Padikkal won't be featuring in the first few RCB games as he is still recovering from COVID-19.
RCB will hope that the youngster will soon be back to form a formidable opening partnership with skipper Kohli.
#3 AB de Villiers
South African legend AB de Villiers simply has to be one of the best T20 batsmen ever. He has been sensational for RCB over the years and continues to be one of their most crucial components.
De Villiers blew hot and cold in IPL 2020 but still showed flashes of brilliance, scoring 454 runs at an incredible average of 45.40. His most memorable knock last season came against the Rajasthan Royals where he pulled off an unbelievable win.
With Kohli not in the greatest of forms, it was De Villiers who almost single-handedly took RCB into the IPL 2020 playoffs. He will again be an important cog in the RCB wheel.
De Villiers could also be seen donning the gloves this season. This added responsibility could bring out the best in him. He will need to fire all cylinders for RCB to have a top-class IPL 2021 season.
#2 Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli's form was a big worry for many Indian fans as he hadn't looked at his best for quite a while. However, the T20I series against England would have given the 32-year-old immense confidence.
Kohli was the player of the series, and having partnered Rohit Sharma at the top of the order in the final T20I, he announced to the world that he will open for RCB in the IPL.
This certainly comes as a huge boost for them as Kohli had a brilliant season in 2016 where he scored a ridiculous 973 runs including four centuries. Opening the batting just seems to be the right move for the skipper as he can dictate terms from the get-go.
Kohli has been a loyal servant of RCB ever since the inaugural edition of the IPL and will be itching to help them win their maiden IPL title. RCB will really need their skipper to get the big scores at the top of the order consistently in IPL 2021.
#1 Glenn Maxwell
Arguably a name that would raise quite a few eyebrows, Glenn Maxwell might just be the X factor that RCB need to clinch that elusive maiden IPL trophy. The Australian star all-rounder never fails to spring a surprise and has had a mixed IPL career so far.
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) had snapped him up in the IPL 2020 auctions due to his success with the franchise back in 2014. However, Maxwell had a horrible season, scoring just 108 runs in 13 games, failing to hit even a single maximum.
His performance was so appalling that KXIP had to release him ahead of the IPL 2021 season. However, Maxwell's red-hot form with Australia and also his impactful innings in the Big Bash League prompted a number of teams to go big for the Aussie star in this year's mini-auction.
Eventually, it was RCB who won the bidding war for a whopping INR 14.25 crore in the IPL 2021 auction. While the pressure of the huge price tag might still be looming over Maxwell, he is likely to bat at No.4 with the likes of Kohli opening and De Villiers taking up the No.3 spot.
This is Maxwell's favourite position and he could do immense damage if he is in for a decent amount of deliveries. While it is still a risk, RCB feel Maxwell can be the man that provides the explosion in the middle-order that they desperately need to have a successful IPL 2021 campaign.