Can Royal Challengers Bangalore finally bring the trophy home this season?
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(Cricket news) The 2nd phase of the 2021 IPL is about to start and RCB are 3rd on the points table with 7 matches left to play. Their 1st game back is against KKR on 20th September.
Seamer Harshal Patel has been a revelation this season after picking up 17 wickets. He is also the current holder of the purple cap. New signing Glenn Maxwell has been in the form of his life having scored 227 runs in 6 innings which include 2 half-centuries.
RCB have qualified for the playoffs 6 times in 13 seasons but have never won the coveted trophy. Virat Kohli has always been criticised and mocked for his failure to win major trophies as a captain and he would be keen to get this checked off his list. Kohli has also announced that he would step down as the captain of the Indian T20I team after the World Cup. Which raises the question if he will continue to lead RCB after this season. If this is indeed Virat's last season as the skipper then there will be an extra motivation to win it.
RCB need Virat the batsman as much as they need Virat the captain if not more. His performance with the willow will be directly proportional to the teams performance. The opening pair of Kohli and Padikkal will have a lot of responsibility. The bowling will be led by the Indian pace-spin pair of Yuzvendra Chahal and Mohammed Siraj. Purple cap holder Harshal Patel will also play an important role. It will be interesting to see if inform newcomer Wanindu Hasaranga will be put straight into the side.
Also read: Sunrisers Hyderabad look to end their losing streak in second phase of IPL
The RCB middle order will be anchored by AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell. Rajat Patidar and Shabaz Ahmed batted one down in the first half but they could face the axe in favour of Mohammed Azharuddin or Pawan Deshpande. Sachin Baby is another batter who will be an interesting option as he is yet to play a game this season.
Australian spinner Adam Zampa pulled out of the 2nd phase along with his fellow countrymen Daniel Sams. They were replaced by the Sri Lankan pair of Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera. Washington Sundar and Kane Richardson were ruled out of the tournament with injuries. They were replaced by Akash Deep and George Garton. Tim David has been roped in to replace Finn Allen in the squad.
Here is the full RCB squad
Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pavan Deshpande, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyesh Prabhudessai, KS Bharat, Tim David, Dushmantha Chameera, Wanindu Hasarangal, Akash Deep, George Garton.
RCB need to continue playing the way they have played so far this season to make it to the Playoffs and eventually try and win the trophy. Death bowling has always been the persistent issue with RCB but they seem to have massively improved this time around and that needs to continue.