The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were one of the most active teams in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction. Mike Hesson and Co. weren't hesitant to splash the cash as they signed Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson for a combined sum just short of INR 30 crores.
RCB also snapped up young Indian batting talents Mohammed Azharuddeen, Suyash Prabhudessai and Rajat Patidar, apart from experienced campaigners Sachin Baby and Dan Christian.
The wait for their first title never seems to end for RCB, but we might just see it happen when we least expect it.
RCB's predicted playing XI for IPL 2021
This year's IPL is still months away, but we attempt to predict what RCB's ideal playing XI will look like.
RCB's squad for IPL 2021: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Md. Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Joshua Philippe, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmed, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai, KS Bharat
Openers: Devdutt Padikkal, Josh Philippe (wk)
The uncapped Devdutt Padikkal was RCB's leading run-scorer in IPL 2020, ahead of even Kohli and De Villiers. That's how brilliant his debut campaign was, and he'll want to take the next step to the national team as soon as possible. Padikkal has had a calming influence at the top of the order for RCB, and his consistency will serve his team well in IPL 2021.
Azharuddeen and Bharat have opened the batting before in T20 cricket, while Kohli himself has an outrageous record as an opener in the IPL. However, following the departure of Aaron Finch, RCB are likely to open with Josh Philippe.
Philippe was the third-highest run-scorer in this year's Big Bash League with 508 runs at a strike rate of 149.41, and he will come into the tournament high on confidence. He will also take the responsiblity of the gloves away from AB de Villiers, who'll be free to focus completely on his batting and fielding.