IPL 2019: Analyzing the strengths, weaknesses of RCB
Royal Challengers Bangalore have not been one of the top performing sides in the 11 editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL). RCB have always had superstars in their ranks, but when it came to delivering the goods, the team has faltered at pivotal moments. This season, Virat Kohli-led RCB will look to make a dent. Here we decode the strengths, weaknesses of RCB.
RCB have shaped up their middle order
RCB strengthened the middle order department smartly in the IPL 2019 auction. This will help them reduce their dependency on Kohli and AB de Villiers. Last season, their middle order lacked teeth but the acquisition of Shivam Dube and Shimron Hetmyer solves this issue. Dube has a solid strike-rate of 147.65 in 13 T20s. Hetmyer adds quality with one hundred and two fifties.
All-round and pace options another strength
The side will revolve around skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers like always. These two modern day legends can change the face of any game. Further, they also have utility foreign all-rounders like Moeen Ali, Marcus Stoinis and Colin de Grandhomme. Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav and Nathan Coulter-Nile could make their presence felt for RCB with their wicket-taking abilities.
Opening woes could unsettle RCB
RCB have fewer issues as compared to previous seasons. But the opening combination remains a worry. They don't have a settled pair who can fire atop. They traded Quinton de Kock and released Brendon McCullum. But they didn't replace them. This means Kohli will open with Parthiv Patel. But where are the back-ups? What if the pair doesn't click? This can unsettle their campaign.
RCB's lack of depth in bowling an issue
Yuzvendra Chahal has been RCB's main star in spin bowling. But the attributes of Washington Sundar and Pawan Negi are questionable. Both these players lack the craft needed to propel a side. They lack consistency as well. The pace bowling looks strong, but RCB do not have quality options on the bench. The Indian pace quartet, barring Umesh in particular lacks match-winning ability.
A look at RCB's performances in the IPL
RCB have not been consistent in the IPL. Last season they finished sixth in the league table. Out of 11 seasons in the IPL, RCB have finished outside the top four on six occasions. The side has ended as runners-up in three editions (2009, 2011 and 2016). They finished fourth in 2010 and third in 2015.
RCB need consistent set of results in IPL 12
RCB will need to come out as a group and win crucial moments. A few wins, at the start of the season, can help them gain confidence. Fans will hope that the side will be able to make a mark in 2019. Team balance is a factor which Kohli needs to address. RCB have an outside chance to qualify for the play-offs.
Which players will RCB look up to?
AB de Villiers and Kohli know the franchise in and out. Their form will be crucial for RCB. Both the players are excellent fielders as well. Yuzvendra Chahal and Umesh Yadav will be hoping to claim wickets and keep RCB in the game.