Ahead of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020), the spotlight has been firmly fixed on Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The Karnataka outfit is under more pressure than ever to finally deliver an IPL title to its loyal fans, with both time and patience fast running out.
Many RCB players have spoken about their plans for IPL 2020 - AB de Villiers called his net sessions a 'great challenge', Kohli claimed that he doesn't feel like he has been away from the game, and Umesh Yadav admitted that the team owes a title to the fans.
In this article, we carefully analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of the RCB squad ahead of IPL 2020.
RCB in IPL 2020: Strengths
#1 RCB have a strong overseas core in the batting department
A strong batting line-up has been a hallmark of the RCB team over the years in the IPL, and although they have lost the likes of KL Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan, they still have a solid overseas core.
To support Virat Kohli, who is the leading run-scorer in the history of the IPL, RCB bought Australian limited-overs captain Aaron Finch, who is expected to open the batting. Finch is as destructive as anyone against the new ball, and could play a role similar to the one Chris Gayle played for the franchise.
AB de Villiers has been ever-present for RCB over the years, and his recent good form in the 3TC Solidarity Cup points to him defying age once again in IPL 2020. The former South African captain, along with England all-rounder Moeen Ali, make up a top order that has world-class overseas professionals with experience and leadership.
New singing Josh Philippe, who has turned heads with his performances in the Big Bash League, is another viable option on the bench.
#2 RCB have variety in their spin attack
Another factor that might turn out to be a telling one in the UAE, RCB have a versatile spin attack.
The franchise's leading wicket-taker Yuzvendra Chahal is an attacking option as always, and is perennially in the reckoning for the Purple Cap. To support him, RCB have Washington Sundar, who is accurate with his lines and lengths. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner is an excellent option in the powerplay, especially against the left-handers, and will perfectly complement the leggies of Chahal.
Moeen Ali is also a highly accurate bowler and has shown that he can extract ample turn on pitches that offer something. In addition to these three spinners, RCB can also call upon left-arm spinner Pawan Negi and new acquisition Adam Zampa.
The latter, in particular, has a potent googly that has deceived even Kohli on multiple occasions and given the success that wrist-spinners have enjoyed in the IPL, he could even partner Chahal.