Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have been sort of an enigma throughout the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The team has always fielded formidable lineups in the tournament but have always ended up short of the big prize. Every year, loyal fans from the garden city of Bangalore and across the country get behind their favourite team, only to be disappointed near the end. The performance of RCB has been similar to how the South African team has performed during World Cups. They always had the talent, always went in as one of the favourites, but like clockwork, always came up short. RCB has had two of the greatest batsmen of all time in their lineup for a long time, but they have still managed to underachieve throughout their existence. However, RCB has appointed a new director Mike Hesson who is determined to change the history of the franchise. RCB qualified for the playoffs in IPL 2020 (that’s the first time they made it to that stage 2016). However, it was their incredible bowling attack that propelled them to that stage of the tournament.
To boost their chances of succeeding in IPL 2021, RCB went hard during the IPL mini auction and shopped extensively. The team picked up eight new players for the 2021 edition of the world’s richest cricket league. A lot of the team’s problems from the previous season seem to have been resolved by those purchases. In this post, we will look at five players whose performances will be critical in pushing RCB into the playoffs and onwards to greater glory.
IPL 2021: Five RCB Stars Critical for Their Playoff Run
With the bowling of RCB is well known for leaking runs at a brisk pace, Chahal stands as a lone warrior whose economy in IPL 2020 was 7.08. As a matter of fact, he was a key contributor to the team’s playoff run during IPL 2020. All in all, with a little revamp in their overall bowling attack, the RCB fans would be expecting this stalwart to routinely deliver match-winning spells and lead them to the promised land.
AB de Villiers
Over the years, AB de Villiers has been the biggest match-winner for the RCB franchise, and for his fervent fans, he is almost a demigod. In terms of his long relationship with the RCB, De Villiers was first seen in the RCB camp in the 2011 edition and since then has played a total of 141 matches for the Bangalore based team. Overall, while batting in the middle-order ABD is the heartbeat of the entire RCB’s batting lineup.
Last year in IPL 2020, De Villiers yet again had his typical stellar IPL season where in his 15 games a total of 454 runs came from his bat at an average of more than 45. Despite being highly burdened in the middle-order, ABD still scored his runs at a blistering strike rate of 158.74.
To make another playoff push in the IPL 2021, De Villiers will have some extensive company in the middle-order. However, greatness is expected from the great ones and the burden of expectation will rest heavily on the shoulders of the South African star once again. It’s safe to say that RCB’s fortunes will go as De Villiers goes.
Glenn Maxwell is a great addition to the already formidable but top heavy batting lineup of RCB. A lot of RCB fans will expect Maxwell to replicate his breakthrough 2014 performance in this season as well.
Padikkal once again looks to be in brimming form to help his team fetch new heights. In the recently concluded SMAT matches, Padikkal in his six matches scored a total of 218 runs at an average of 43.60. Further than that, in the VHT matches, he was seen thrashing bowlers as in his seven outings, he piled up a mammoth of 737 runs at a scarcely believable average of 147.40.
With such dazzling form, Devdutt Padikkal appears to be a crucial cog in the machinery of the RCB batting lineup. He will be expected to score somewhere round 500 runs in the tournament. All in all for RCB to yet again have a robust IPL season, Padikkal’s consistency at the top will be indispensable.
In terms of the Indian skipper’s recent form, Virat Kohli had a marvelous outing against England in the five T20I games. With his bat, Kohli notched a total of 231 runs which also includes three unbeaten half centuries that were scored at a blistering strike rate of 115.5. More importantly, by being in such red hot form, some RCB fans have even anticipated that Kohli might have a similar IPL season just like in 2016.
Virat Kohli’s batting in the RCB is all about providing stability and being right till the end. In terms of chasing targets, there haven’t been many batsmen in cricket’s history who have been better at that task. With chasing teams usually winning IPL games, Virat Kohli’s contributions will be critical. He will also be opening the innings in this edition of the IPL so fans can expect fireworks right from the start. If RCB want to make the playoffs once again, having their captain in top notch form is indispensable.