Royal Challengers Bangalore always shows enthusiasm to purchase match winners year by year since the inception of Indian Premier League. The team seems the strongest one on paper with strong batting line-up and terrific bowlers. But in reality, the team never won the title since the beginning due to some hurdles. Let us have a detail about some issues facing RCB in the real picture.The RCB had a nightmare year in the form of 2017 due to injury woes of Kohli and De Villiers. The franchise bought Mitchell Starc as their bowling spearhead but he was expensive and failed to pick wickets in a single match in 2014. In 2017 Shane Watson repeated the scene. The franchise tried to compensate the mistakes by accommodating strong bowlers in 2017 like Yuzwendra Chahal but he did not make his mark for the team that year.
In 2016, Virat Kohli had a golden year supported by KL Rahul and DeVilliers often. But they lost a .match by 8 runs due to poor bowlers who are very expensive. Shane Watson gave 61 runs in the match and failed to pick a wicket at an economy rate of 15.25 added to the woes of the team in 2017. But he was the second leading wicket-taker in that series. The team included Mohammed Siraj, Colin de Grandhomme, Kulwant Khejroliya, Navdeep Saini, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Aniket Chaudhary, and Chris Woakes this year which seems a decent pace bowling department than the earlier seasons. The team managed to acquire most of the opponents who made their 49-run fall against KKR earlier.
The team consists of magical bowlers like Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav, Nathan Coulter -Niel and Yuzwendra Chahal along with all-rounder Washington Sundar. Umesh Yadav did not play limited overs cricket since September. So, Coulter-Niel is expected to be the main weapon in the bowling department in the initial overs. In addition, Chinnaswamy stadium does not support spinners at the expected level. So, the pacers should share the load of picking wickets with consistency.
In addition, the team may get confused about the top order batsman. Quinton De Kock may join Kohli, Vohra, Mc Cullum, Parthiv Patel, or, Mandeep or Vohra may join De Villiers, Kohli or Mandeep to begin the game for the team. Washington Sundar may be given a chance to play in the top order by his exceptional performance in the Nidahas tournament.
If Kohli bats at No.3, we may not see him repeat the knocks like 973 runs off 4 centuries in a single season. Royal Challengers Bangalore often prefers to play players in form. This is not a wrong choice as this plan worked with the skipper Virat Kohli. Ab De Villiers and Coulter-Niel were down due to injuries since a couple of months and Coulter-Niel was out of cricket since November 2017. Their recovery is doubtful for this season. Patel, Vohra, and Mandeep have to shoulder a load of middle order in addition to De Kock and Mc Cullum. Sarfaraz Khan is expected to play well to compensate his absence for the entire season of 2016.
To end up, the franchise has to overcome the psychological fears of bitter history. They have to work to start fresh to cruise towards the series victory.