Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have had phenomenal teams over the years but have failed to deliver on the big stage and are yet to win an IPL championship. It would not be an overstatement to call RCB the pride and sorrow of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Year after year, RCB have turned out some of the strongest squads around the world igniting the hopes of millions of their fans. Sadly, all those teams have failed to seize the opportune moments resulting in heartbreak for fans all over again.
RCB holds the record of scoring the highest (263-5) as well as the lowest (49 all-out) scores of the tournament.
Of the 14 times IPL has been played, RCB has managed to reach the playoffs half the time (7), including three appearances in the finals. However, the team’s search for the elusive title persists.
Due to their unpredictable nature, bookmakers usually offer odds of around 6.50-7.50 against RCB and the same holds good for this IPL season. IPL betting sites are offering RCB the odds of 8.50 to win IPL 2022.
Are the odds justified? Well, given RCB’s record, the answer is both yes and no. The IPL 2022 was preceded by a mega auction meaning RCB could retain a maximum of four players. They retained only three.
Among them, talismanic batsman Virat Kohli, who has been with the team since its inception, decided to quit its captaincy after nine years at the helm.
The current squad has now witnessed a massive change and it can go either way. The newly introduced league format will also play an important role in deciding how the teams would fare en route to the playoffs.
However, with some other teams looking much stronger than RCB right now, it can be a somewhat safe bet to say that RCB is not an obvious frontrunner for the 2022 IPL title.
We predict that the Royal Challengers Bangalore will reach the playoffs for a third year in a row this time.
However, it might still have to wait for its first-ever IPL trophy. Their biggest challenge would be their derby rivals Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad with KKR all set to play old foes again.
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Among all the things RCB makes headlines for, its squad is a permanent factor. The franchise is infamous for drafting some very good individual players into its midst only to miss out on creating a balanced playing eleven.
The Gayle-Kohli-ABD era is testimony to that. Well, Chris Gayle had already left for Punjab Kings a couple of years back and AB De Villiers bid his farewell to the game.
With Virat Kohli giving up the captaincy, it was time RCB management looked towards a new squad. Before the auction, RCB only retained Kohli, Australian ‘Big Show’ Glenn Maxwell, and fiery Indian pacer Mohammad Siraj.
Proven performers who were released include long-term spin wizard Yujvendra Chahal, young opener Devdutt Paddikal, and reliable all-rounder Washington Sundar. Harshal Patel, the purple cap (most wickets) winner of last season, was also let go but he was bought back.
In the IPL auction, RCB bid for a lot of players managing to acquire the services of several new players including Faf Du Plessis, Josh Hazlewood, Wanindu Hasaranga, and Dinesh Karthik.
The pace bowling department will be led by Siraj in tandem with Patel and Hazlewood, while Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmed, and Maxwell will look to spin the matches in RCB’s favor.
Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik, Shahbaz Ahmed, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Josh Hazlewood, Mohammed Siraj, Akash Deep, Suyash Prabhudesai, Luvnith Sisodia, Aneeshwar Gautam, Jason Behrendorff, Karn Sharma, David Willey, Siddarth Kaul, Chama Milind, Mahipal Lomror, Sherfane Rutherford, Finn Allen.
One can never be too sure with RCB but this side looks pretty balanced on paper. There are some major chinks in its armor as well like the lack of an experienced Indian spinner or the absence of a pinch hitter down the order.
With three top candidates, each of them have the ability to blow away entire opposition bowling units by themselves. This one is going to be a hard call. Du Plessis was the second-highest run-scorer of IPL 2021 missing out the top spot to fellow CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad by a mere 2 runs.
Maxwell was in red-hot form last year scoring 513 runs and finishing fifth in the race to the orange cap. Kohli, arguably the best batsman in the world, is going through somewhat of a lean patch and will be keen to announce his return in style.
It is safe to assume that one of these three batsmen will top score for RCB this year.
RCB spent big money to buy back Harshal Patel, their current purple cap holder, in the mega auction. Harshal Patel picked a record 32 wickets in the last season of the IPL, the joint-highest in IPL history.
All eyes will surely be on him to do an encore. Mohammad Siraj could be another strong contender with his knack for early breakthroughs in the powerplay.
Virat Kohli is the one to watch out for as always. King Kohli is hungry for runs and we know it. Relieved from captaincy duties all around, we might get to see the Virat Kohli we had grown accustomed to.
If Finn Allen manages to find a regular place in the side, this Kiwi wicketkeeper-batsman can be a potential game-changer.