The Indian Cricket Team’s Captain, popularly known as the Run Machine, Virat Kohli’s ability and hunger to score daddy hundreds has taken the cricket world by storm. Ranked No. 1 in ODIs, No.2 in Test cricket and No.3 in T20Is is a testimony of how the stylist top-order batsman has evolved over the years.
The flamboyant cricketer was the captain of the Indian team that won the 2008 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup and since then there has been no looking back for King Kohli. He is the new-age cricketer who is aggressive and expresses his mind on the field. In 2008, Kohli was inducted in the RCB squad and started leading the side in the year 2013. In the year 2016, he sat atop on the leading run-scorers list, thereby donning the Orange Cap at the end of the ninth edition of the league. The highest-paid cricketer in IPL, Virat Kohli was the first one to be retained by his franchise ahead of the IPL 2018 Player Auction and will continue to lead his side
Support Staff: Simon Katich (head coach), Mike Hesson (Team director), Sridharan Sriram (batting and spin bowling coach), Adam Griffith (Fast bowling coach), Strength and Conditioning Coach: Shanker Basu.
Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal
Strengths: Like every season, they have a gun batting line-up and with the addition of Finch who also captains Australia in the limited overs format and Aussie talent Joshua Philippe, their top order has been strengthened to the maximum. Virat Kohli, the best batsman in the world right now and De Villiers will play a crucial role as batsmen in their team’s success. To add to that, Moeen Ali, Dube and Chris Morris can play with a good strike-rate down the order.
Weaknesses : Their death bowling has suffered over the years and their major focus will remain on it. Yadav and Siraj have proven to be uneconomical in the past and with Steyn’s uncertainty related to his fitness they only have Morris to depend on and Saini to an extent.
Player to watch out for :
Devdutt Padikkal: The karnataka opener became the first player to cross 1000 runs in the 2019-20 domestic season. He was the highest run-scorer for his side across all formats in the same season as well as the overall highest run-getter in the T20 and 50-over competition.
Trivia: Padikkal scored the most number of sixes (33) in the 2019-20 Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy.
Team combination and probable XI :
According to a few rumors, De Villiers is willing to play as a wicketkeeper-batsman for RCB. He has been reluctant to play that role in the past. This could mean that Parthiv, who also opened the innings last season might have to sit out.
Virat said that his team has never felt this calm going into a season before and the fan sentiment believes that this IPL could be different for them. It would be a gamble to say that they’d end up in the top 4. But the gut feeling says so!
The likes of Kohli, AB de Villiers and Finch in their ranks, RCB have fire power in their batting. However, overall they do look a little lean in the specialist batting department.
The batting big guns will have to do much of the heavy lifting, while the all-rounders and specialist bowlers will have to be at their best to make it to the playoffs and then beat the heavyweights to try and win their maiden IPL title.
The 13th edition of the IPL, which begins on September 19, will be held in a bio-secure environment behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. RCB will open their campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad on September 21.
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