Be it Chris Gayle’s humongous towering sixes, be it Virat Kohli’s astonishingly consistent stroke-play, or be it AB Devilliers’s swashbuckling 360-degree shot-making prowess, the Royal Challengers have continued to stun and mesmerize fans by orchestrating some of the best batting displays we have ever seen in the tournament. The RCB has easily been the most saleable club in the IPL, and more so after ABD, a sensation, and Kohli, the latest pulse of the Nation, shared a great camaraderie during the last IPL, architecting some of the best victories, with the former playing it out like a rockstar, composing loud music and the latter like a classical musician, heightening the drama, hitting higher notes every now and then. In spite of a belligerent display last year, the RCB fell short of winning the title, losing the final to Sunrisers Hyderabad. The RCB will continue their hunt for glory in the latest season.
On paper, the RCB look stronger than ever and, as usual, look good enough to win the league. Games aren’t played on paper, though. News is just in that KL Rahul has been ruled out of the IPL 2017 because of the shoulder injury he picked up during the recently concluded series against Australia. With Mitchell Starc already out of the IPL, AB Devilliers arriving late and Virat Kohli unavailable for ‘at least the first few days of the tournament’, the RCB have an uphill task of performing to their very best to get off to a good start, before AB and Virat join in to add muscle to the Team. The RCB will specifically miss Rahul who looked in pristine touch and Mitchell Starc who had been their mainstay all this while, as far as the bowling department is concerned.
The bowling department looks somewhat better with Tymal Mills who RCB purchased in the latest auctions, making him the second-highest paid international player of this season. Mills, the English left-arm speedster, has impressed in quite a few T20 leagues across the World and might just turn out to be the trump card RCB has been on the look-out for. Mills, Watson, Binny and Yujvendra Chahal provide a good shape to the RCB’s bowling lineup. Kedar Jadhav, a finisher, too can bowl a bit and had New Zealand bamboozled recently with his awkward bowling. As far as the batting line-up is concerned, Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav and Stuart Binny will still form a formidable batting line-up, before ABD and Virat join in to make it the best batting lineup of the tournament. Rahul’s presence would have elevated the lineup even further.
If they manage to successfully deal with a tense first couple of weeks, the RCB will surely have a great chance to break the shackles and win their first trophy.
Team – Virat Kohli, AB Devilliers, Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Tymal Mills, Aniket Choudhary, Praveen Dubey, Billy Stanlake, KL Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Mandeep Singh, Adam Milne, Sarfaraz Khan, S Aravind, Kedar Jadhav, Samuel Badree, Iqbal Abdulla, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Avesh Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi.