IPL 2020: 3 overseas players of RCB to watch out for
- RCB's three overseas players who can be the game-changers this season.
With players like AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli in the line-up, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are one of the biggest franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL), but simultaneously, they have also been one of the consistently disappointing teams of the leagues.
RCB have never won the IPL title despite reaching the finals three times - 2009, 2011, and 2016. They have also finished third in two editions - 2010 and 2015. Their recent run has been especially poor, having been sixth in 2018 and last in 2017 and 2019.
With an extremly talented, top-heavy line-up, and a management which was backing them almost to a fault, a lot was expected from the Kohli-led side for all these years. Ergo, they have justifiably been termed underachievers. But with the new season about to commence, fortunes might turn around soon for the franchise. With a bolstered squad, new logo, and a fresh start, RCB are hoping to make an impact this season.
Foreign players have been a vital cog of this RCB line-up, and they have a bunch of big names this year as well. Here's a look at three overseas players who can be game-changers for the Bangalore franchise.
#1 AB de Villiers
The ex-South African skipper is one of the two marquee players of Royal Challengers Bangalore. He made his debut for RCB against Kochi Tuskers Kerala in 2011 and notched a half-century in the very first game. Since then, there has been no stopping Mr. 360 - who is currently the second-highest run-getter for RCB. In 154 IPL matches, de Villiers has scored 4395 runs, at an average of 39.95 - which includes three hundreds and 33 fifties.
Along with Kohli, he will have to take the load of leading the squad from the front again. As has been the wont every year, RCB fans and management will be having high hopes from him. His unpredictable, explosive ways of scoring will be vital for RCB in 2020.
#2 Moeen Ali
The franchise bought Moeen Ali for INR 1.7 crores in 2018. He made his debut against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 7, 2018.
Ali is an effective all-rounder who has played a small but significant role for the franchise in the last two seasons. In his 16 IPL games, Ali has contributed 297 runs at an average of 24.75 - which includes three half-centuries. He has also picked up nine wickets at an economy rate of 6.97. Furthermore, he is the second overseas player (after AB de Villiers) to be retained by RCB this year.
Ali's IPL stats speak very mildly of the quality he brings to the side. With contributions from both bat and the ball, Ali has the potential be a game-changer.
#3 Aaron Finch
RCB have struggled to find a third stalwart alongside de Villiers and Kohli all these years. However, Aaron Finch - who has a T20 strike rate of 156.48 and an average of 38.4, can end that wait for the franchise and the fans.
The 33-year old was bought for INR 4.40 crores in the IPL auction this year. He will be an impressive top order addition and provide the necessary support for RCB's batting line-up. Having Finch in the squad gives an effective opening option as well as he opens for Australia. Finch is one of the best power hitters in the game. His ability to single-handedly change the equation of the match makes him a potential game-changer for this season.
Published 14 Mar 2020, 23:40 IST