Royal Challengers Bangalore are yet to win an Indian Premier League title and the closest they came was in 2009 and 2016 when the team reached the final under Anil Kumble in South Africa and Virat Kohli respectively. In 2009, they lost to now-defunct Deccan Chargers and in 2016, Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated RCB in the final.
But things look different this year. They were off to a fantastic start before a little stumble in the middle but are still well placed in the league to reach the playoffs at least. Despite their top-order failing to score runs including Virat Kohli, the middle-order and bowling have put their hands up to get results for the Bangalore-based franchise.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Squad: Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Harshal Patel, Daniel Sams, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pavan Deshpande, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyesh Prabhudessai, KS Bharat, Finn Allen, Scott Kuggeleijn
Here is a SWOT analysis of the RCB team based on their performances in this year’s IPL so far.
STRONG MIDDLE-ORDER: The likes of Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers have performed well for RCB this season. Maxwell has had a new lease of life after joining Bangalore in a big-money move. De Villiers has always been reliable and has continued the good work this season too. Maxwell has scored 223 runs from 7 matches while AB has 207 runs from the same number of games.
HARSHAL PATEL: Harshal Patel has been in very good form this season. The medium-pacer has used slower balls and yorkers to perfection this season and is the leading wicket-taker as well with 17 scalps to his name from 7 games. Harshal also has a five-wicket haul this season and has been one of the key reasons behind Bangalore’s good form.
KOHLI’S BAD FORM: Kohli has been in bad form according to his standards and has only managed 198 runs from 7 games when the tournament was suspended in early May. He only scored one fifty in seven innings. Kohli’s form has put pressure on the middle-order but thankfully the likes of Maxwell and AB have stepped up.
CHAHAL’s LACK OF WICKETS: Yuzvendra Chahal has also failed to take wickets for Bangalore this season with the spinner only taking four wickets from seven games. Chahal has also conceded 8.26 runs per over and failed to put pressure on batsmen this season.
HARSHAL PATEL: Harshal was ignored for India’s limited-overs squad for the Sri Lanka squad despite having a good IPL so far. He would aim to continue the good work and finish the season strong for RCB and make India’s World T20 squad for the tournament in October-November.
PLAYERS BACKING OUT: Bangalore may miss out on one of their best performers this season with Maxwell. Cricket Australia are yet to comment on allowing players to play in the second half of the IPL but many Australians have also backed out and if Maxwell decides to follow suit, Bangalore will be dealt with a major blow.
IPL 2021 is scheduled to be played from September 19 to October 15 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 31 matches will be played in total across 27 days.