IPL 2015 Royal Challengers Bangalore: Facing a Royal Challenge
Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore
Captain: Virat Kohli
Best Performance: Reached finals in 2009 and 2011 editions
Home Ground: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
Last year’s performance: Played 14 Won 5 Lost 9
Last year’s position: Finished at seventh spot on the points table
Overall performance: Played 91 Won 46 Lost 42 NR 2
Royal Challengers Bangalore over the years has the star studded squad and every time they stepped into the tournament they were one of the favorites to win it. However, in the past seven seasons they have never won the tournament.
Being one of the wealthy franchisee in the Indian Premier League they are always blessed with the players which most teams cannot afford like Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB Devilliers. With the rest of the team set to revolve around these players they took some hard decisions following the team’s failure to qualify for the play offs last year despite having one of the strongest batting line ups in the tournament.
Finishing at the penultimate position after boasting a team which included Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB Devilliers, Yuvraj Singh and Mitchell Starc was unacceptable. As was expected some harsh decisions entailed the horrific season and Yuvraj Singh was released ostensibly to re buy him in the auctions at lower price. But as it turned out the move back fired them as they bid for them till Rs 15.5 crores (Rs 1.5 crore higher than his previous price). However, he was ultimately snapped by Delhi Daredevils for a whopping Rs 16 crore.
Recommended Read >> Mumbai Indians ready to face the Challenge
There bowling has been jolted by the absence of Man of the tournament in the World Cup, Mitchell Starc, as he is out for three weeks owing to a knee injury. With Starc unavailable the ghosts of the past will again chase them as their bowling seems fragile.
Varun Aaron, Abu Nechim and Ashoke Dinda comprises the fast bowling line up for Bangalore and if we look at their figures for previous season they all have been expensive. They lack a bowler who can contain in those middle overs ensuring the score is within the team’s reach. With Bangalore’s pitch being an absolute belter their bowlers will struggle to keep opposition batsmen in check. However, Yuzvendra Chahal, leg spin bowler, was a surprise performer for them last season and expectations off him will be high this season especially in a bowling line up which lacks discipline.
Squad for IPL 2015
With the release of star all rounder Yuvraj Singh they needed to make some important buys at auction this season. Let us first take a look at what they did with their squad this season.
Virat Kohli, AB de Villers, Chris Gayle, Mitchell Starc, Nic Maddinson, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal, Rilee Rossouw, Vijay Zol, Yogesh Takawale, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Ashoke Dinda, Sandeep Warrier, Manvinder Bisla, Iqbal Abdullah, Dinesh Karthik, Subramaniam Badrinath, Darren Sammy, Sean Abbott, Adam Milne, David Wiese, Jalaj Saxena, Sarfaraz Naushad Khan, Shishir Bhavane
Recommended Read >> Would Sunrisers rise up to the occasion?
As we can see in the bold letters, first four players are valuable buys for the team. Dinesh Karthik was bought for a whopping Rs 10.5 Crore indicating the value he brings in the team and that middle order in the batting line up. Next is the crisis man or the go to man for Chennai Super Kings for six seasons, Subramniam Badrinath. Every time CSK were sixteen for two or twenty for three one would always see Badrinath in the middle driving CSK out of crisis to set the platform for their big hitters.
Darren Sammy’s purchase one have to say was an after plan by the management after they were unable to snap Yuvraj Singh in the auction and had to be replaced by a big hitting all rounder. Sammy is the perfect man to have in the middle in the last five overs as he could take on the bowling like no other.
Sean Abbott will play a crucial role in this fragile bowling line up. He is the lone bowler who has a reputation of bowling with tight line and length in this RCB bowling line up. In the absence of Mitchell Starc and Adam Milne he will be expected to deliver for RCB in the bowling department.
One would think they will chose four foreign players amongst Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, Sean Abbott, Nic Maddinson and Rillee Roussouw. Unlike their previous squads they do not have problem of plenty and their playing XI looks set.
What to expect in IPL 2015
Having the best ODI batsman (Virat Kohli), best batsman (AB Devilliers) and best T20 batsman (Chris Gayle) in their ranks has to be the ultimate thing for any team. But with this team they certainly look batting heavy and this will be grave concern for them in the tournament.
Sure they can set the big targets but their bowling will be needed in the tournament to take them through to next round. Unfortunately, the bowling is not strong enough to see them through and it will take a special effort from their batsmen to deliver every time they walk in the middle.
However, even with the likes of Gayle, Kohli and DeVilliers we cannot see them going through to the play offs this season too.
Royal Challengers Bangalore is 15/4 to win and is second favorite to win the tournament which is basically a reflection of their batting line up. But a tournament is won when all three departments, batting, fielding and bowling, clicks. Unfortunately we see them lacking the last one and thus do not see them in the play offs.