IPL 2019 Squad Analysis: Royal Challengers Bangalore
The team with the intensely loyal fans, RCB has probably been the most unlucky franchise of the IPL, making it to the finals thrice and never being able to savour the joy of lifting the trophy.
Though they have had enormous names of the likes of Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Dale Steyn, and Zaheer Khan play for them, they have hardly managed to do consistently well in the 11 years of IPL apart from the three years they reached the finals, only to face the disappointing face of loss.
RCB had quite a forgettable 2018 season of the IPL and now they would want to get the right balance of players in order to make a strong combination of the playing XI. Over the years, RCB has suffered with having a superbly strong batting lineup but a dismal bowling line-up.
Given their recent retention, releases and trades, and the much talked about IPL Auction, let us look at what else might the RCB be looking forward to doing towards the 2019 IPL.
The top-order heavy and that too, foreign top-order heavy RCB of 2018 seems to have realized where they had gone wrong last year, and have rightly released Brendon McCullum and Manan Vohra prior to the IPL Auction.
While McCullum's abilities are under question, Manan Vohra is one exciting youngster who was missing out on opportunities to showcase his talent. He was impressive at KXIP, but due to the presence of big names at the top of RCB's batting order, the young lad couldn't perform to his optimum.
Quinton de Kock, who was being termed as a good buy for RCB in 2018 and who did pretty well for them, was also traded to the MI this year.
RCB also seem to have gone for a replacement of two under-performing overseas all-rounders by picking the in-form Marcus Stoinis and letting go of Chris Woakes and Corey Anderson. While the former is more of a batting all-rounder, Woakes was more of a bowler who could finish off matches with a few big hits and Anderson was a full-time finisher who could bowl a few overs in between.
However, none of the two did justice to his role and thus, they have gone for someone who might be able to clear the boundaries often and also bowl crucial overs of seam in between.
Stoinis was instrumental in KXIP's non-stop run in the first six matches, but then, the quality his services declined in direct relation with the team's win percentage. Nevertheless, the Aussie all-rounder is yet again proving in this ongoing edition of the Big Bash League, that he is a force to reckon with.
He has been phenomenal while opening the innings for the Melbourne Stars and has also been very handy as a death bowler, bowling slower balls and cutters to make the batsmen mistime the attempted big shots and get caught in the deep, given the large sizes of Australian grounds.