IPL 2019: 12th Time Lucky for Royal Challengers Bangalore?

Published 03/22/2019, 8:35 AM EDT

Just like Delhi, the Royal Challengers Bangalore are one of the founding teams without an IPL title. Now, as IPL 2019 approaches, will RCB and skipper, Virat Kohli get the monkey off their backs?

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Team Profile

As mentioned before, Bangalore are one of the founding teams, and have been playing in the league since 2008. Virat Kohli is the franchise’s six captain and longest serving one. His predecessors were, Rahul Dravid, Kevin Pietersen, Anil Kumble, Daniel Vettori and Shane Watson.

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Sadly, the Vijay Mallya-owned team have never managed to lift a trophy in 11 seasons. So, the burning question hanging over their heads is, ‘can they do it this time around?’. The team have often spared no expense when it came to the IPL auction. However, inspite of the presence of numerous star players, they never quite got a finger on the coveted trophy.

The highest RCB ever managed to reach was runners up in 2009 and 2011, but that was as far as they ever got, will IPL 2019 be any different?

In the inaugural year, they ended up 7th out of 8 teams. After a good spell between 2009 and 2011, they were back down and fighting in the midfield. In 2016, they were the runners-up yet again and then firmly propping the tail of the league for the next two years.

Background and History

Back when the IPL was in its infancy, business tycoon Vijay Mallya paid US$111.6 million for it. As it turned out, it was the second highest bid in IPL history, with the highest being Reliance for Mumbai Indians.

Between 2008 and 2010, Rahul Dravid was the talisman for the franchise. Then, in 2011, a certain West Indian power house was drafted in. Chris Gayle was an absolute demon in every sense of the word. There were occasions where he would literally take apart the opposition’s bowling attack.

Funny story though, Gayle was actually drafted in when Dirk Nannes injured himself. He made an instant impact with an unbeaten century. After two straight victories, the Gayle storm continued to rage, smashing another century. RCB went on a 7-match winning streak, only ending when Kings XI Punjab snapped it. RCB topped the table but in the qualifiers, their plucky fight was ended by the Chennai Super Kings.

IPL Bangalore Team 2019

In 2012, Gayle nursed a groin injury ahead of the season and RCB really felt his absence where it hurt. They were further hobbled by other injuries and it was not pretty in the slightest. When Gayle did return, he was back to his old self, even smashing 175 runs to singlehandedly thrash the helpless Pune Warriors India.

For seven years, Gayle and Virat Kohli would often run riot whenever RCB came out to bat. Then, their batting arsenal got another big boost when AB de Villiers was added to the team. The trio were quite devastating when on song. However, despite the batting powerhouse triumvirate, RCB still faltered at the finish.

Ironically, not only did the IPL RCB team make some of the highest scores and even the lowest team scores. For example, 49 all out against Kolkata Knight Riders, 96/9 against Rising Pune Supergiant and 119 all out against Kings XI Punjab.

For IPL 2019, the RCB squad 2019 will open the season with a match against defending champions, Chennai Super Kings tomorrow.

Virat Kohli

Transfers

The Royal Challengers Bangalore have made a total of three transfers for IPL 2019. Outgoing players are South Africa’s Quinton de Kock and India’s Mandeep Singh. With regard to incoming players, Marcus Stoinis will be joining the team from Kings XI Punjab.

Key Players

With regard to players who will make a difference to the side are the two star batsmen, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. The two players will have to shoulder the responsibility especially after letting go of Chris Gayle for IPL 2019. Washington Sundar is also a decent batsman and can be a great asset. In the bowling department, Yuzvendra Chahal is an excellent option and can help lead the bowling attack of the RCB squad 2019 IPL.

Availability

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Regarding player availability, Moeen Ali will more than likely be called up for the ODI match against Ireland and later the ODI series against Pakistan. Nathan Coulter-Nile will also be absent for the opening few matches along with Marcus Stoinis as Australia are facing Pakistan in an ODI series.

Strengths and Weaknesses

As mentioned before, their batting prowess is one of the most superior among the teams. Now, with the addition of Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis and Heinrich Klaasen, things will be even better on the batting front in IPL 2019. Another aspect is their motivation and never-say-die attitude. On the face of so many losses, it would be so easy to just give up all hope. But no one has ever told RCB that and they will fight tooth and nail for a taste of victory.

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However, since RCB are normally focused on one aspect of the game, the other side gets sacrificed in the process. To be precise, if the focus is batting, the bowling aspect will take a heavy hit and IPL 2019 seems no different.

Squad and Expected 11

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Dhruv George

13580 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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