IPL 2019: Royal Challengers Bangalore SWOT analysis
- Traditional under-achievers RCB now seem to have one of the most balanced squads in the IPL.
One of the three teams who are yet to win an IPL trophy, Royal Challengers Bangalore headed into the auctions with an eye on a couple of options for opening and wicket-keeping.
Filled with enough all-round options in the form of Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme, Pawan Negi and Washington Sundar, RCB needed someone to partner Parthiv at the top and also someone who could be a backup wicket-keeper. Apart from that, they were short of a couple of middle order batsmen who could bat anywhere between 4 and 6.
RCB started impressively today, buying the most sought after player in the auctions, Shimron Hetmyer. Further, they added the likes of Heinrich Klaasen and promising youngster Shivam Dubey, to add strength to their already power-packed batting.
Now as the auctions are over and the team gets ready for the 12th edition of the biggest T20 league in the world, we take a look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the Bangalore-based franchise:
Just like the 2018 auctions, RCB were one of the smartest buyers this year too, getting players according to their roles and how they would fit into the already settled combinations.
The best buy has to be of that of Shimron Hetmyer, who will lend firepower to the middle order, and who is capable of batting anywhere between 4 and 7. This will reduce the over-reliance on the Kohli-AB duo, and make the lineup more formidable.
The inclusion of Klaasen ensures they have a backup wicket-keeper, who can also walk into the team as a batsman and can play at any position in the lineup.
The trade of Mandeep Singh for Marcus Stoinis was a masterstroke, considering the value Stoinis brings in as an all-rounder and finisher. The presence of Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme and Stoinis makes their reserve of all-rounders look really rich.
Shivam Dubey, one of the most sought after Indian players in the auction, will be used as someone who can finish games as well as someone who can be used as a pinch hitter. His medium pace will also be of great use.
Overall, RCB finally seem to have a batting lineup which is not Kohli-centred.
On paper, RCB look more balanced than ever, having individuals fit for each slot. However, the backups do not look encouraging, which might be an issue in case of injuries to the first choice players.
The over-dependence on Kohli and De Villiers has been a regular feature as far as RCB are concerned, and the same trend could continue this time if they don't fit the right players in the right slots. The finishing might still be an issue, with Moeen Ali not available for the whole tournament and Sundar and Negi not having enough experience in that regard.
Death bowling continues to be a worry, despite Mohammad Siraj showing promise last season.