Royal Challengers Bangalore have been, without a shade of doubt, one of the most exciting teams to watch throughout the nine editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Although the Bengaluru-based franchise haven’t had much success to boast about, it is one of the original eight franchises in the tournament which had been runners-up in a couple of earlier editions (2009 and 2011).
Currently, led by Virat Kohli and coached by Daniel Vettori, the Royal Challengers Bangalore side haven’t had much of a success in the ninth edition of the IPL as well. The ‘Men in Red and Black’ currently occupy the sixth place in the IPL table with eight points in their kitty at the end of ten league matches.
The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium-based franchise has always been a formidable side to compete with. Once decorated by the likes of Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, and Anil Kumble, RCB now boast of some world-class cricketers such as Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, and AB de Villiers.
Here is an All-time Royal Challengers Bangalore XI:
Note: The team consists of seven Indian cricketers, four foreigners, and a 12th man.
1. Chris Gayle:
The 36-year-old Jamaican is one of the most explosive opening batsmen in the world of cricket. Having scored 3,006 runs in the 76 matches that he has played, Chris Gayle is the second highest run-getter in the history of the IPL franchise.
Gayle joined the Bengaluru-based franchise back in 2011 and since then, has gone on to score tons of runs for RCB at an impressive average of 46.96. Having said that, the Jamaican cricketer also boasts of a massive strike rate of 156.39 and an individual high score of a 66-ball unbeaten 175 against the now defunct Pune Warriors India.
Although better known for his batting exploits, Gayle is quite a handy part-time bowler as well to have in one’s team. He has gone on to take 11 wickets for Royal Challengers Bangalore with a career-best IPL bowling figure of 3 for 21.
2. Rahul Dravid:
The poster boy of Karnataka cricket and the former Team India captain, Rahul Dravid is the second highest Indian run-getter for the Royal Challengers Bangalore after the current RCB skipper, Virat Kohli. Although Dravid featured in a couple of IPL seasons for RCB before moving to the Rajasthan Royals, he had managed to score 1,132 runs for the Bengaluru-based franchise at a pretty decent T20 average of 28.30.
With a strike rate of 119.66, the 43-year-old had scored five half-centuries for the Royal Challengers Bangalore with an IPL career best batting score of an unbeaten 75 against the Rajasthan Royals in the very first season of the Indian Premier League.
3. Virat Kohli:
The 27-year-old current Indian test match captain, Virat Kohli stands head and shoulders above the rest of the Royal Challengers Bangalore batsmen, in terms of the total number of runs scored. Kohli, who has been a part of the Bengaluru side since its inception in 2008, has featured in 148 matches for RCB.
The Delhi man has scored 4,129 runs for the ‘Men in Red and Black’ at an impressive average of 35.90. Boasting of an excellent strike rate of 129.23, Kohli is, undoubtedly, one of the most talented and versatile batsmen in modern cricket.
Having scored a couple of hundreds and as many as 25 half-centuries for the RCB, Virat Kohli’s 108* against the Rising Pune Supergiants in the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League remains to be his highest individual score in the Indian Premier League.
4. AB de Villiers (WK):
The ever-so-versatile South African international, AB de Villiers has been a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad since 2011. Since then, Abraham Benjamin, better known as ‘AB’, has gone on to score 2,339 runs for RCB, thus becoming the third highest all-time run-getter in the history of the Bengaluru-based IPL franchise.
Not only because he has scored 16 half-centuries and a massive ton for the Royal Challengers Bangalore but AB de Villiers’ stellar strike rate of 157.19 has also helped him on the path to becoming one of the most valuable players of the Bangalore outfit, over the course of years.
De Villiers’ 59-ball 133* against the Mumbai Indians last year is his highest individual IPL score till date.
5. Robin Uthappa:
Currently, one of the most important members of the Kolkata Knight Riders batting unit, Robin Uthappa was a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad in the period between 2009 and 2010. The home-grown Karnataka boy is the third highest Indian run-scorer in the history of the RCB.
Uthappa has scored over 700 IPL runs for the ‘Men in Red and Black’ in the 40 matches he has featured for them. Although the 30-year-old had a passable average of 22.77, his impressive strike rate of 139.52 is one of the reasons which earned him a place in the All-time Royal Challengers Bangalore XI side.
Having scored five half-centuries for the Bengaluru-based franchise, Robin Uthappa’s 68* against the Chennai Super Kings in 2010 stands to his highest individual batting score for the RCB.
6. Manish Pandey:
Another Royal Challengers Bangalore-turned Kolkata Knight Riders batsman, Manish Pandey was the first Indian cricketer to score a century in the Indian Premier League in an RCB outfit.
The Karnataka man, Manish Pandey scored over half a thousand IPL runs for the RCB in the period between 2009 and 2010. Courtesy of a lethal combination of 31.61 average and a strike rate of around 120, the 26-year-old was, well and truly, one of the most important domestic cricketers for RCB in the 2009 and the 2010 editions of the Indian Premier League.
Also widely acknowledged as a terrific fielder, Pandey’s unbeaten 114 against the Deccan Chargers back in the 2009 edition of the IPL is his highest individual batting score in the coveted domestic T20 league till date.
7. Mitchell Starc:
The 26-year-old Australia international, Mitchell Starc was one of the most impactful players for the Royal Challengers Bangalore side in the period between 2014 and 2015. The 6 feet 6 inch tall left-arm fast bowler has taken 34 wickets in the 27 Indian Premier League matches that he has played for the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium-based franchise.
Starc’s 4 for 15 against the Kings XI Punjab in the eighth edition of the Indian Premier League stands to be his best individual bowling figure in the domestic Indian T20 tournament.
Moreover, Mitchell Starc is also a handy back-up batsman for any T20 team with a batting average of 26.92 for Australia in Test matches.
8. Dale Steyn:
The 32-year-old South African speedster, Dale Steyn played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first few editions of the Indian Premier League during the period between 2008 and 2010. Steyn had featured in 35 IPL matches for the Bengaluru-based franchise, picking up 33 wickets for the ‘Men in Red and Black'.
The Proteas right-arm fast bowler who now plays for the Gujarat Lions had maintained an impressive economy rate of 6.88 for RCB. Dale Steyn's career best bowling figure in the Indian Premier League came against the Deccan Chargers back in 2010, as he picked up three wickets conceding just 18 runs in his allotted quota of four overs.
9. Anil Kumble (Captain):
The former India Test captain and one of the greatest ambassadors of Karnataka cricket, Anil Kumble was a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore family during the period between 2008 and 2010. The 45-year-old former Indian leg-spinner is not only the second highest wicket-taker in the history of RCB but his record as the captain of the Bengaluru-based IPL franchise is also quite impeccable.
Anil Kumble had picked up 53 wickets for RCB in the 51 IPL matches that he had played for them. Moreover, not only did he maintain an enviable economy rate of 6.65, Kumble's bowling figure of 3.1-1-5-5 against the Rajasthan Royals back in 2009, still stands as the best bowling figure that has been achieved by an Indian in the history of the Indian Premier League.
The 45-year-old has also led the Royal Challengers to an IPL final against the Deccan Chargers in 2009. Having said that, Kumble is the most successful captain in the history of the Royal Challengers Bangalore at least until now, with a win percentage of 54.28 compared to that of 53.70 of Virat Kohli and 28.57 of Rahul Dravid.
10. Ranganath Vinay Kumar:
Former India international, Vinay Kumar is the highest wicket-taker in the history of the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium-based franchise. The 32-year-old Karnataka man has racked up 80 wickets for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 70 matches that he had represented them during the period between 2008 and 2013.
Although his economy rate is a bit on the higher side (8.31), R Vinay Kumar's impressive strike rate of 17.8 had made him one of the most feared bowlers in the Indian Premier League. His 4-0-40-4 against the Chennai Super Kings back in 2010, still stands as his best bowling figure in the IPL.
11. Zaheer Khan:
Former Team India left-arm fast bowler and the current skipper of the Delhi Daredevils, Zaheer Khan played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore for five long years from 2008 to 2013. Zaheer Khan or 'Zak’ as he is more famously known among his team-mates, is the third highest wicket-taker for the Bengaluru-based IPL franchise in the Indian Premier League.
Zaheer has picked up 49 wickets for the Royal Challengers in the 44 IPL matches that he had played for the franchise. The 37-year-old had picked up 4 wickets conceding 17 runs in just a couple of overs against the Chennai Super Kings in 2013 which is still his career best bowling figure in the coveted Indian T20 tournament.
12. Jacques Kallis:
Former South Africa international and the current Kolkata Knight Riders head coach, Jacques Kallis was a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad during the period between 2008 and 2010. Kallis is the fourth highest run-getter in the history of the Bengaluru-based IPL franchise.
He had mustered a total of 1,123 runs in the 46 matches that he had played for the RCB at a truly impressive average of 33.44.
The South African had also wrapped up 30 wickets for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. His 3 for 16 against Guyana in the 2010 edition of the Champions League T20 remains to be his best bowling figure for the Bengaluru side.