IPL 2020: Strongest probable playing XI for Royal Challengers Bangalore
- Royal Challengers Bangalore would be hoping to clinch their maiden IPL title in the upcoming edition of the league.
- They would be hoping that the addition of Aaron Finch would ease some of the pressure on Virat and ABD.
Royal Challengers Bangalore can be regarded as the unluckiest team in the history of the Indian Premier League. The Virat Kohli-led side has finished as the runners-up on three occasions, failing to win the trophy even once.
The Bangalore-based team has been a disappointment for the last three seasons of the IPL, coming in last on two out of the three occasions. Their bowling attack has been a big let-down and their batting department has been over-reliant on a couple of star players.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Squad for IPL 2020: Virat Kohli (C), Aaron Finch, Parthiv Patel, Devdutt Padikkal, AB de Villiers, Gurkeerat Mann, Joshua Philippe, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Pavan Deshpande, Chris Morris, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson, Dale Steyn, Isuru Udana
Although the current squad also seems to be heavily reliant on a few players, they would be hoping that the others are also able to step up and perform to their potential.
Considering the above squad at their disposal, let us have a look at the best probable playing XI that can be fielded by RCB.
#1 Openers (Aaron Finch, Parthiv Patel)
RCB would be hoping that Aaron Finch can deliver at the top of the order as he does for Australia. This would relieve a lot of pressure from the shoulders of Kohli and AB de Villiers, with team Bangalore being almost completely dependent on both of them for the last couple of years.
The cheeky Parthiv Patel is the most likely opening partner for Finch. Although Patel was not able to produce any big knocks, he had, more often than not, provided quickfire starts to RCB last year, which were unfortunately not utilized by the rest of the batsmen.
The Bangalore-based team has the option to use the young Devdutt Padikkal, who has had an outstanding season for Karnataka, as an opener but they might have to stick with Patel considering they do not have any other Indian wicket-keeper in the squad.
#2 Middle-Order (Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Gurkeerat Mann)
As always, the onus will be on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to shoulder the responsibility of the RCB middle-order. Virat would be hoping to regain his lost touch, coming on the back of a rather unsuccessful New Zealand series (considering his lofty standards).
ABD, as he is fondly known, would hope to be at his devastating best and make a case for himself to be included in the South African squad for the T20 World Cup later this year.
The final middle-order spot is likely to go to Gurkeerat Mann, with his good performances for Punjab over the last couple of years holding him in good stead.
#3 All-rounders (Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar)
This IPL would present a perfect opportunity for Shivam Dube and Washington Sundar to cement a place in the Indian T20 squad. With Hardik Pandya just back from his long injury layoff, the Indian team and Virat, in particular, would be hoping that Dube can showcase his all-round potential in this edition of the IPL to present a viable alternative for Pandya in case of any injury issues.
Sundar would have a crucial role to play as he is likely to bowl a couple of overs in the powerplay and also contribute with the bat at the fag end of the innings. With a lot of competition in the Indian team for the spin-bowling all-rounder's role, a good performance here will go a long way in helping him secure a spot in the Indian team.
Chris Morris, for whom RCB paid a whopping Rs. 10 crores at the IPL auction, is likely to play the bowling all-rounder's role. Having lost his place in the South African team, he would hope to come back in the reckoning with a good all-round performance at this year's IPL. He can be used as a floater in the batting line-up and can be pushed up the order to provide some lusty blows if the need arises.
RCB could also opt for Moeen Ali as an all-rounder instead of Morris on spinner friendly tracks.
#4 Bowlers (Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson)
The wily Yuzvendra Chahal will continue to be Virat's go-to bowler this season as well. Over the years, Chahal has proved to be the one bowler who has been able to deliver the goods even on the flat Chinnaswamy pitch, considered to be a bowler's graveyard, with the short boundaries and the altitude making the contest even more one-sided.
Navdeep Saini has grown by leaps and bounds since the last IPL and would be expected to lead the RCB pace attack. Having added the yorker to his bowling arsenal, the lanky quick bowler can prove to be a handful for the opposition batsmen.
Kane Richardson would be the ideal foil for Saini in the pace department. He would be an asset in the death overs, a problem area for RCB over the years, with his change of pace coming in handy.
The Bangalore team has capable back-ups for Saini and Richardson in the form of Umesh Yadav and Dale Steyn. Both are good wicket-taking options with their ability to swing the new ball but can be expensive at the death, thereby making a case for the young Saini and Richardson to be preferred over them.Published 20 Mar 2020, 17:54 IST