Brad Hogg has predicted Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)'s probable playing XI for the IPL 2021 season. While his team looks strong on paper, one of the notable omissions is that of New Zealand speedster Kyle Jamieson.
Jamieson was a hot property at the IPL 2021 auction, with many teams entering into a bidding war for his services. RCB ended up snapping up the tall pacer for a whopping INR 15 crore. However, Brad Hogg did not include the New Zealand quick in his RCB XI.
While the exclusion might raise a few eyebrows, given Jamieson's hefty price tag, the bowler has been far from impressive in T20Is. He has been highly expensive for New Zealand in the shortest format of the game and is yet to demonstrate consistent wicket-taking ability.
In a video on his YouTube channel, Brad Hogg talked about his selections in his RCB playing XI for IPL 2021.
Hogg has picked Devdutt Padikkal and captain Virat Kohli as his two openers for RCB. Padikkal was sensational last year, scoring 473 runs. He was also in red-hot form in the 2021 Vijay Hazare Trophy, scoring four consecutive hundreds.
With an eye on the upcoming T20 World Cup, Kohli had announced that he would open for RCB in the IPL 2021 season. Hogg feels that RCB have a strong combination at the top of the order, saying in this regard:
"They will have Padikkal open the batting. I think he did a fantastic job last year and is another Indian talent coming through. Opening the batting with him will be Virat Kohli. I think that is his prime position. He will be able to time the ball, pierce the gaps during the powerplay. His role will be to bat through the whole innings."
Brad Hogg picks a power-packed RCB middle order
There were no surprises as the South African star AB de Villiers was slotted in at no. 3 by Brad Hogg. However, the next three batsmen were interesting picks as the 49-year-old went for Australian all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Daniel Christian and finished rounded out the top six with young Mohammed Azharuddeen.
Maxwell is another big-money signing by RCB this season, but many have their doubts about how he would fare for his new team. Meanwhile, Christian is a seasoned campaigner and has won T20 titles around the world. He looks like a smart addition to the RCB side.
Azharuddeen is another power-hitter who displayed his big-hitting prowess by smashing a hundred for Kerala in the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Brad Hogg feels this batting line-up could give headaches to many teams in IPL 2021.
"You have got AB de Villiers coming in at no. 3 and then Glenn Maxwell to finish off the innings at no. 4. I will have Dan Christian coming in at no. 5 , another power-hitter, and Mohammed Azharuddeen. I think that particular six would be dominant in this year's IPL," Brad Hogg said.
Brad Hogg's bowling combination for RCB in IPL 2021
There are many names in the RCB bowling department that pick themselves up. The likes of Washington Sundar, who has had an extremely successful international stint in the past few months, has been chosen by Brad Hogg to partner Yuzvendra Chahal in the spin department.
Another RCB player who has enjoyed a successful stint for India is Mohammed Siraj. He has come of age and has grown into a more responsible bowler. He is likely to lead the RCB's pace-bowling attack alongside Navdeep Saini.
Brad Hogg, interestingly, picked Australian T20 specialist Kane Richardson as his overseas quick option.
Richardson is smart with his change-ups, and his variations could be handy in foxing the opposition. Brad Hogg reckons this is a very stable bowling combination and would be highly effective. He said in this regard:
"We have got Washington Sundar at no. 7, who is also a big-hitter and can do some damage there. We have also got Siraj and Saini, two frontline Indian fast bowlers, who have got a bit of experience now being in the Indian setup. Kane Richardson for me is coming in at no. 10 and Chahal at no. 11."
Brad Hogg's predicted XI for RCB in IPL 2021
Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson, Yuzvendra Chahal.
RCB open their IPL 2021 campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians in Chennai on April 9.