The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League has started on September 19, 2020, at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The tournament was originally scheduled to take place in India from March 29 before the spread of the Novel Virus (COVID-19) halted all the sporting activity in the country. With there being no hope of the IPL taking place in India this year, the postponement of the T20 World Cup by the ICC paved the way for the IPL to be rescheduled and relocated to the UAE.

A total of 60 matches will be’ played over 53 days across three venues; Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai. The final of the World Biggest Cricket League’ will be Played on November 10 and RCB fans once again have high hopes and expectations from their Team expecting them to be triumphant this time for the first time in its 13-year history.

The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League has started on September 19, 2020, at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The tournament was originally scheduled to take place in India from March 29 before the spread of the Novel Virus (COVID-19) halted all the sporting activity in the country. With there being no hope of the IPL taking place in India this year, the postponement of the T20 World Cup by the ICC paved the way for the IPL to be rescheduled and relocated to the UAE.

A total of 60 matches will be’ played over 53 days across three venues; Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai. The final of the World Biggest Cricket League’ will be Played on November 10 and RCB fans once again have high hopes and expectations from their Team expecting them to be triumphant this time for the first time in its 13-year history.

Royal Challengers Bangalore Rollercoaster Ride:

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) preparations are in full swing as they look to hunt their Maiden IPL trophy. Despite some ordinary performance in the last seasons, fans are putting behind previous memories of inconsistent performances and crashing out early to bring the trophy home. An over-reliance on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers whilst neglecting local talent has been their main let down, their history in the tournament reflecting this:

  • 2008: Finished 7th at the League Table
  • 2009: Runners up, Lost the Final to Deccan Chargers by 6 runs
  • 2010: Semi-finalists, Losing the Semi-Final to Mumbai Indians by 35 runs
  • 2011: Runners-up losing the final to Chennai Super Kings by 58 runs
  • 2012: Finished at fifth position failing to qualify for knockouts based on a net run rate
  • 2013: Finished fifth in the league stage
  • 2014: Finished at the 7th rank at the league table
  • 2015: Failed to win the Second Qualifier as they lost to CSK by 3 wickets trying to defend 139
  • 2016: Runners-up, Lost the final against Sunrisers Hyderabad by six runs
  • 2017: Worst Season as they finished at the bottom of the table managing only 3 wins
  • 2018: Finished at 6th position league
  • 2019: Finished at the bottom of the Table

Royal Challengers Bangalore

RCB’s 2020 Squad

Royal Challengers Bangalore had a difficult time last season in finding the right combination – to the point, they tried almost everyone on the bench to find the elusive winning combination. This year, however, they have a balanced team as they have made drastic changes into their squad for the 2020 IPL season. Unlike the previous seasons, the franchise has shown faith in the local players and focused on all three departments of the game. They released 11 players and added 8 fresh faces to their dugout. The inclusion of experienced T20 performers Aaron Finch and Chris Morris will bolster confidence in the red army.

Local:

Virat Kohli (captain), Yuzvendra Chahal, Muhammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel, Navdeep Saini, Pawan Negi, Devdutt Padikkal, Shivam Dube, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Washington Sundar, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmad

Overseas:

AB de Villiers (South Africa), Moeen Ali (England), Chris Morris (South Africa), Aaron Finch (Australia), Dale Steyn (South Africa), Adam Zampa (Australia), Josh Philippe (Australia), Isuru Udana (Sri Lanka)

The Support Staff:

Over the years, Royal Challengers Bangalore has tried several coaches but not even the World Cup-winning Garry Kirsten could help banish the trophy drought. Ashish Nehra Stint as an inexperienced bowling coach last year was a disaster and the team management have yet again decided to change their coaches.

For IPL 2020, Royal Challengers Bangalore has hired the services of Australian Simon Katich as their Head Coach and Mike Hesson as their Director of Operations. Katich has the experience and proven ability to work with IPL teams at this level. Mike Hesson is an excellent Cricket tactician and amongst the top cricket coach who knows how to lift the game of each player. His coaching experience is second to none and everyone in the cricket circle admires his work.

The new management structure for 2020 is:

  • Director of Cricket Operations: Mike Hesson
  • Head Coach: Simon Katich
  • Bowling Coach: Adam Griffith
  • Batting and Spin Bowling Coach: Sridharan Sriram
  • Team Manager: Major Soumyadeep Pyne

Fans are hopeful the Kaitch-Hesson duo will change the fortunes of the team.

The franchise has also hired a psychologist to help players cope with the new crowd and player restrictions whilst living and playing in a BIO secure environment.

The Experienced Players:

Virat Kohli is the face of Royal Challengers Bangalore and a major reason why people haven’t lost faith in the franchise. An idea of Virat’s popularity can be judged by the fact that the franchise spent a fifth of its budget at auction just to retain Kohli’s services. Virat is an integral part of RCB since the inaugural season in 2008. He is not only the leading run-scorer of his team but the table topper of IPL runs chart. The Indian Captain Virat “KING” Kohli is a chase master and possess a formidable T20 record. Despite the wooden spoon in the last tournament no one dares to raise a finger on Kohli’s leadership.

Mr. ‘360’ AB de Villiers is another superstar of the franchise, his heroics in the past have pulled off miraculous victories for his side. Over the years, ABD single-handedly has carried the burden of RCB’s middle order on his shoulders and this year we might see him carrying the responsibility of keeping the wickets as well.

Royal Challengers Bangalore journey in the season will be defined by the form of these veteran batsmen

The Batting Unit

The batting department of RCB has been their strongest point but still, it reloves around Kohli and ABD. They have brought a couple of new players who can share this burden.

The Australian white-ball captain Aron Finch has been bought in the side for almost 4 Crore INR to open the innings and provide the team with its fiery starts. Finch is currently engaged with the Australian national side for a limited over series against England. His runs upfront will play a key role in laying a strong foundation for his side. He is bursting with International and IPL experience and understands the nature of IPL teams and would certainly help RCB’s cause.

In the last season, Gurkeerat Singh showed glimpses of his potential and has an opportunity to secure his place as a middle-order batsman, he can loft the ball and play some good cricketing shots at a healthy strike rate, moreover, the experienced Parthiv Patel is in the group to see off the new ball and score some runs early in the game.

The Bowling Unit

Yuzvendra Chahal will lead the spin attack of his side. Chahal is the trump card of RCB’s bowling line up and his performance will play a crucial part in the team’s success. He had a breakout season in IPL’s previous outing in the UAE in 2014. The pitches in UAE will assist spinners and Chahal will play a defining role by picking scalps in middle overs. Chahal has the most number of wickets for the side as the tally reached 100 in the last season, he also holds the record for joint best economy of 1.5 in the IPL.

Another pillar of RCB’s bowling line up is Dale Steyn who needs no introduction, his injury last year disturbed the bowling combination of the Royal Challengers Bangalore team as he had to leave after playing just two games of the season. He is hopeful of winning the first IPL title for the side. His presence in the squad will inspire the younger generation in learning the art of fast bowling.

Navdeep Saini is another bowling sensation, he was bought for 3 crore INR and has impressed all the cricket pundits with pace, yorkers, and slower deliveries to deceive the batsman. Moreover, the bowling department consists of experienced Umesh Yadav who will look avenge last year’s performance, Muhammad Siraj, Pawan Negi, and Australian informed spinner Adam Zampa.

The All-Rounders:

Royal Challengers Bangalore might be struggling to win trophies but they have a World Champion All-rounder Moeen Ali in their side. Moeen will enter the tournament as in-form English T20I captain. His ability to take aerial route in death overs and dismantling batsmen with his spin bowling makes him an asset of the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s squad. Moeen made his IPL debut for RCB in  2018 when he bought for 1.70 INR Crore by the franchise. The bearded assassin’s all-round abilities convinced the side to retain him at the auction as he is a luxury they can’t afford to miss.

The franchise invested a whopping 10 crore for Chris Morris to resolve their batting and bowling issues for RCB as his economy of 8.34 in the last five overs in the IPL since 2015 is as good as any other bowler of the league. He has the firepower to smack the ball out of the ground with a strike rate of almost 160 in 61 matches of IPL. His form and consistency matter a lot for the red army.

The side is jam-packed with All-rounders like Pavan Deshpande, Shivam Dube, Srilankan Isuru Udana, and a young Josh Phillipe can come in handy for the side.

The Youngsters

Shahbaz Ahmed is almost a complete package who can become their go-to man with the ball and play a crucial supporting role to their fast bowlers when needed he can even aid with the bat as he is a big-hitter who can come lower down the order and finish the game on a high note. Of course, performing in IPL is entirely different from playing domestic tournaments but Shahbaz has the potential to leave his mark on the tournament.

The 20-year-old Devdutt Padikkal had an impressive domestic season where scored 650 runs at an average of 59.09. His stats in the shortest format of the game speak for themselves as in the 12 T20s he has a mind-blowing 580 runs with a high score of a still unbeaten 122 while playing for Karnataka. His technique looks solid, balanced and he isn’t afraid to play pull and hook shots and he does it at a brilliant strike rate of 175 in T20 cricket. He will feature in RCB’s top order with Aaron Finch or Virat Kohli and surely will look to cement his place in the Indian National Team with his skills.

The UAE Conditions:

The BioSecure Bubble and limited Physical movement by the players will not distract the players, keeping the focus solely on cricket. The team won’t have to travel too much as all the action will be taken place at only three venues which will aid them in having a better knowledge of pitches and conditions of the UAE. The empty stands will lay off the added pressure players had to carry in home conditions. To RCB’s advantage, teams are out of match practice if they managed to take benefit from a “fresh start” in the early stages of the league they’ll end up as the crowned champions.

RCB’s IPL STATS:

RCB owns a number of records in the tournament’s history. The stats will remind us of their capability to do wonders with both bat & ball

Batting:

  • Highest Team Total:263/5 Batting first against Warriors on 23 April 2013
  • Lowest Total:49 Batting second vs KKR
  • Highest Partnership:229 by Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers for the second wicket against Gujrat Lions on 14 May 2016
  • Most Runs: 5836 in 192 Matches
  • Most 50+ runs:43 by Virat Kohli
  • Most Hundreds:5 by Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle
  • Most runs in a series:973 by Virat Kohli in the 2016 season
  • Highest Score:175 by Chris Gayle on 23 April 2013 against Pune Warriors
  • Highest Strike Rate: 159.17 by AB de Villiers in 127 Matches
  • Most Sixes:239 by Chris Gayle
  • Most Sixes in a match:17 by Chris Gayle on 23 April 2013 against Pune Warriors
  • Most Ducks:7 by Virat Kohli

Bowling:

  • Most Wickets:100 by Yuzvendra Chahal in 83 Matches
  • Best Bowling Figure:5/5 in 3.1 overs by Anil Kumble vs RR in 2009
  • Most 4+ Wickets:3 by Anil Kumble in 51 matches
  • Most Wickets in a Series: 23 by Yuzvendra Chahal in 15 matches

Feilding:

  • Most Catches:83 by Virat Kohli in 192 Matches
  • Most Catches in a Series:19 by Ab de Villiers in 2016 season

Wicket Keeping

  • Most Wicket Keeping Dismissals:23 Parthiv Patel in 32 matches
  • Most Wicket Keeping Dismissals in a Season:18 by Dinesh Karthik in 2015 Season

Team

  • Matches Played: 168
  • Wins: 78
  • Losses: 95
  • No Result: 3
  • Win Rate: 46.4%
  • Most Matches:192 by Virat Kohli
  • Most Matches as Captain:110 by Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli n CO seems satisfied with how the team is shaping up before the start of the tournament. Virat Belives he never felt so calm coming into the tournament since 2016 and they are here to play cricket not to have fun everyone needs to respect the boundaries BCCI has laid down to ensure their health safety. RCB contingent is aware of the expectations of fans and won’t disappoint them this time around.

Their Ideal RCB Combination:

  1. Aaron Finch
  2. Devdutt Padikkal
  3. Virat Kohli (C)
  4. AB de Villiers (WK)
  5. Moeen Ali
  6. Shivam Dube/Shahbaz Ahmad
  7. Chris Morris
  8. Washington Sundar
  9. Yuzvendra Chahal
  10. Navdeep Saini
  11. Mohammed Siraj/ Umesh Yadav

 

Gifts for RCB Fans

Mounted Gifts Virat Kohli Royal Challengers Bangalore Cricket Signed A4 Poster Photo Print Autograph Signature Photograph Artwork Picture Gift India Jersey Shirt Kit (POSTER ONLY)

EverEx Unisex ipl Jersey Half Sleeve Cricket Supporter T-Shirt Uniform Polyster Fit Material Kids to Adults (Chest (40 inches), Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Royal Challengers Bangalore Classic Mug Best Gift Ceramic 11oz Coffee Mugs

Author:

Kashif Haider Qureshi A Communication Studies graduate following the gentlemen’s Game since 1999. As a journalist, Discussing Various Aspects of Cricket is the sole objective behind my Words.