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Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL 2014 preview

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

The Preview by Anuj Vignesh

April 14, 2014

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Agarkar: Chance for Yuvraj to prove detractors wrong


Yuvraj Singh lifts Virat Kohli up after the win, India v South Africa, World T20, semi-final, Mirpur, April 4, 2014
Virat Kohli has been on fire, but will Royal Challengers Bangalore's (two) Million Dollar Baby also deliver? © AFP
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Poll

What position will Bangalore finish at this season?
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Likely first XI

1 Chris Gayle, 2 Virat Kohli (capt), 3 Parthiv Patel (wk), 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Vijay Zol, 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Shadab Jakati/Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 Varun Aaron, 11 Ashok Dinda

Full squad

2013 finish

Fifth, for the second year running. They were runners-up in 2009 and 2011.

Big Picture

Royal Challengers Bangalore will enter IPL 7 having in their ranks two of the most talked-about Indian players from the last couple of weeks - that is, talked about for completely different reasons.

On one hand, there is Virat Kohli, arguably the in-from batsman in international cricket. The force behind India's charge to the World T20 final, collecting a tournament record 319 runs with four fifties from six matches at 106.33. The team's watchful protector and Dark Knight.

And then there is Yuvraj Singh, painted - perhaps unfairly - as the villain for sucking the momentum out of India's innings in the final with a laboured knock of 11.

What will worry the Royal Challengers fans more than the Rs 14 crore (US$ 2.33 million) it cost the franchise to secure Yuvraj's services, is just how lost the allrounder looked not only during his 21-ball struggle in Mirpur, but also in a majority of his innings since returning to the Indian fold last year.

Still, while an on-song Yuvraj will be more than welcome, his form with the bat should not hurt the Royal Challengers too much, as they boast perhaps the most explosive line-up in the tournament, with the added experience of Albie Morkel to provide a late surge down the order.

Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling. Australia's Mitchell Starc and West Indies' Ravi Rampaul are quality performers but only one of the overseas slots is likely to be available for the two of them. The Indian quick bowlers inspire lesser confidence: Ashok Dinda leaked 9.48 runs per over last season, Varun Aaron is yet to combine precision to his undoubted pace, while Abu Nechim and Harshal Patel are yet to prove themselves in the IPL.

Big players

Chris Gayle may not have set the World T20 on fire, perhaps being remembered only for his ferocious rendition of Gangnam Style after beating Australia, but his IPL pedigree is never in question. Pune Warriors will attest to that.

A 28-ball 69 against England aside, AB de Villiers also had a quiet outing in Bangladesh. However, he has been outstanding as a finisher for Royal Challengers. With Morkel also in the team, de Villiers might be pushed up the order this year to provide an early onslaught.

Bargain buy

Legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal has a career economy rate of 5.59 in Twenty20 cricket, which is among the best in the world. He was with Mumbai Indians since 2011, contributing to their 2011 Champions League win with an incisive spell of 2 for 9 in the final, but the presence of Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha in the team meant that his appearances for the franchise were limited. Bought for a modest (by IPL standards) Rs 10 lakh, Chahal could well lead Royal Challengers spin attack this season.

Availability

Royal Challengers have a fully fit squad to choose from.

Quote

"I want to be the best in death-over bowling. I have practised a lot in the nets and sweated it out for many hours just to bowl in the last overs of the match."
Ashok Dinda

Odds

4/1 - joint favourites with Chennai Super Kings
Odds provided by Bet365

Anuj Vignesh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by bobjinder on (April 17, 2014, 13:28 GMT)

It will be fun to see yuvi and gayle open rcb if the get going we will see 300

Posted by Anantha_hs on (April 17, 2014, 9:51 GMT)

I feel the best possible team would be : 1 Chris Gayle 2. Parthiv Patel 3. Virat Kolhi 4. Yuvraj Sing 5.ABD 6.Vijay Zol 7. Albie Morkel 8.Yujuvendra Challal 9.Ashok Dinda 10 Starc/RaviRampual 11. Sandeep Warrior

Posted by DingDong420 on (April 17, 2014, 9:33 GMT)

Kings XI all the way to the title

Posted by gibbs.175 on (April 17, 2014, 5:15 GMT)

I think ,KP must give some chances to D.Kock . He can give a good start to DD .....good luck

Posted by   on (April 16, 2014, 8:47 GMT)

There is no game changer in bowling that will hurt

Posted by SidsIPLTeam on (April 16, 2014, 6:36 GMT)

I think RCB has left no stones unturned this year. They have packed their side with such high impact & talented t20 players that on paper they are sure winners. However, as we have seen in the past couple of seasons that doesn't always pay-off. Teams need good batsmen and bowlers to win such a competitive tournament, & RCB's bowling again looks a little average. Aaron, Dinda, Albie & Starc are all a touch expensive and Bangalore's good pitch & short boundaries won't help that. Even in the UAE, they don't have any good spinner to take advantage of the slow pitches. If the Yuvraj & the bowlers chip in nothing like it. Otherwise, yet another season on the cards where RCB's batsmen will be doing all the work. Not a great pick certainly. But, one which can win against any opposition. Good luck!!

Posted by Kashi0127 on (April 16, 2014, 4:02 GMT)

I do not see how Bangalore team can be supported. I hope they lose miserably for not playing a single Karnataka player. The matches in Bangalore should be boycotted with near zero attendance for this reason

Posted by ramnath on (April 15, 2014, 16:45 GMT)

Though I love RCB, I will have to back KKR. There are 3 Bengaluru boys there where as there are Zero in RCB lineup. Sad.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2014, 13:27 GMT)

Bowling is really weak. They don't have single strong bowler.

Posted by mdagascar on (April 15, 2014, 13:04 GMT)

i rcb wil play with yogesh takawale has opener because he formed wel in the warm up match against the virat team .and the match b/w ab team vs virat team . virat team 121/7 20 overs virat 42 frm 26 yuvi 24 frm 23

Posted by   on (April 15, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

I hope buva_storm wishes come true to see a uvistorm

Posted by naveen_next on (April 15, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

Gayle, Parthiv patel, Kohli, Yuvi, ABD, Zol, Albie morkel, Starc, Dinda, Aaron, Jakati/chahal

Posted by mdagascar on (April 15, 2014, 8:16 GMT)

possible eleven be like this 1.Chris gayle (bat/bowl) 2.Vijay zol (bat) 3.Virat kholi (bat) 4.Yuvraj sign (bat /bowl) 5.Abraham de villers (wkt/bat) 6.Albie morkel (bowl/bat) 7.Ashok dinda (bowl) 8.Varun aron (bowl) 9.M.muralidaran (bowl) 10.Sandeep warrior (bowl) 11. Yujuvendra chahal (bowl)

I think this is the best eleven for rcb in UAE these are slow picthes minimum 2 spinners. In my opinion RCB wil be champion this time. Virat wil prove himself a good captain.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2014, 7:13 GMT)

If murali can show some of his old form or even strangle batsmen then they have a chance of winning else they will sruggle to make the playoffs and if they even do make it they will lose in pressure situations

Posted by   on (April 15, 2014, 7:11 GMT)

Yes muralidaran ,the highest wicket taker in international cricket is not even mentioned . Just shows how batting frenzy this country is . In the MI preview we have people insulting Bhajji and Zaheer Khan who are undoubtedly two of Indias most successful bowlers .They and Kumble( of course the best bowler India produced) along with the Fab four and Sehwag were responsible for our successful run in the 2000s .With all due to respect our batting could not have won anything without these 3 .It is just shameful that even the management does not treat bowlers with respect. The same is happening with Bhuvi Ishant Shami and co now . Bhuvi not completing his quota and the rest are being dropped /played excessively.

Posted by Buva_Storm on (April 15, 2014, 5:44 GMT)

I think in this season they are winners.Yuvi comeback to form at anytime and you will see a yuvistorm instead of gaylestorm...

Posted by   on (April 15, 2014, 4:54 GMT)

RCB will make to the play-offs without any doubt. Possible XI> 1.Gayle,2.V.Zol,3.Kohli,4.Yuvi,5.ABD,6.Albie,7.Parthiv,8.Starc,9.Jakati,10.Dinda,11.V.Aron. Many think that Yuvi is the weak point, but he is the key point for this Team.

In WCT20 final against the Sri Lanka he made a mistake in the 16th over of senanayake, he should have play like 'Hit or out' manner in that over instead he just played defensively (he may think that he can hit in the last four but where the bowling is in the top rhythm he is unable to perform as he thinks).

Now in this present team there are many hitters so that he can play sensibly to get back to the form and he can play freely after all it will be a big concern for the opposition teams.

Playoff teams may be: 1.RCB, 2.Chennai, 3.Mumbai, 4.Punjab.

Posted by srinideva on (April 15, 2014, 4:32 GMT)

Heading says it all...Spin dept looks pathetic.any team can score 160+ against RCB..Sure favourites for top4...

Posted by aby_97 on (April 15, 2014, 4:27 GMT)

Mitchell Starc is not a great death bowler.He didn't impress too much in the WT20.He went for runs in the W.Indies game and also against India.Muralidharan is a wiser choice provided the conditions and his experience.Batting looks pretty solid.Ravi Rampaul could be a good option as well.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2014, 1:42 GMT)

Albie Morkel is the key… I have more faith on Albie than on AB/Virat/Gayle. CSK was shinning not coz of Dhoni's luck or Vijay's consistency.. It was because of Albie Morkel. He is the actual mr IPL, although he is unsung hero of IPL who go unrecognized like Rahul Dravid.. :( However for sure this time he will bring glory to RCB.

Posted by riprock on (April 14, 2014, 18:41 GMT)

Staggering to see no single mention of the spin legend. Murali even at that age could be lethal and economical in favourable conditions. Rotating Starc and Morkel as fourth overseas would be an option. A team with names like Gayle, Kohli, Ab, Murali can fancy its chances of a good showing

Posted by   on (April 14, 2014, 17:57 GMT)

If you look at the team, you can tell that they clearly retained the players who win matches to them (virat, gayle, AB)....They plugged the holes with better players (parthiv, zol, Yuvi, Albie, Starc) and proven players (jakati, Chahal). Yet i think RCB's week link is their bowling. They could have spent more in getting better bowling attack instead of plugging their batting holes which were not that big a concern. Still the team looks better than previous 6 seasons. I think they will enter the final 4. After that point its anybody's game.

Posted by siddarthshikhar on (April 14, 2014, 16:10 GMT)

One interesting point to note is. if Jakati plays acc. to cricinfo's predicted lineup.. rcb will have 7 out of their top 9 as left handers. Will be interesting to see if oppositions specially play off spinners to counter this batting lineup :D

Posted by   on (April 14, 2014, 16:01 GMT)

Dinda is bowling well these days in domestic seasons ........hope that he comes good

Posted by android_user on (April 14, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

I think yuvraj should play down the order that's only protect RCB from the innings like wct20 final.

Posted by MilroyL.S.A.Don on (April 14, 2014, 15:46 GMT)

Yuvraj Haters: If he is not a good fit in Indian team, let him try other tournaments and get back to his old form. Come on guys give him another chance to LIVE and play cricket!!!

Posted by D-Coach on (April 14, 2014, 15:00 GMT)

RCB in Batting Order 1. C.Gayle, 2. V.Zol, 3. V.Kholi, 4. Y.Singh, 5. AB.DeVilliers, 6. (i)Y.Takawale / (ii)P.Patel, 7. A.Morkel, 8. (i)S.Jakati / (ii)S.Rana, 9. M.Starc, 10. A.Dinda, 11. (i)V.Aaron / (ii)Y.Chahal / (iii)H.Patel

RCB have stars who can win matches single handedly on their day but the same has been back fired on the previous editions.

Lacking the vital #6 position but all is well if Y.Singh finds the form who is an 3D. That's more than enough to reach the guaranteed Play-offs even though the bowling is not upto the mark. That is what stars can make a difference and hope stars will shine.

All the best RCB for IPL 2014.

Posted by android_user on (April 14, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

I have seen lots of people speaking negatively about Parthiv Patel but last year he was the guiding force behind Hyderabad along with steyn and dhawan

Posted by wolf777 on (April 14, 2014, 13:38 GMT)

Yuvraj Singh is theri weak point. He is under pressure to perform and bowlers will have theri sight set on him.

Posted by   on (April 14, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

i see many cricket experts(lol) here talking abt rcb bowling and form of rcb batting.. more than the concern i can see the fear in thier minds.. there team will be beaten badly for sure.. so everyone stop whining and stay calm.. the royal challenge is just around the corner...

Posted by Aroundthelegsgoogly on (April 14, 2014, 13:24 GMT)

League class Chris Gangnam.

Posted by FM97 on (April 14, 2014, 13:13 GMT)

Though I am not an RCB fan, it would be a joy to see Yuvraj Singh come back in form, he is unstoppable when he gets going. Though I am not really sure how RCB's bowling would fare. Albie is erratic, Dinda is inconsistent and I fear Ravi Rampaul might be under pressure to lead the attack all by himself. Also Chris Gayle's opening partner Parthiv Patel is also a liablility. Overall, RCB's success/failure depends on how well they balance their squad. Gayle and DeVilliers are sure shot foreign players in the XI. The other two foreign players should be either Murali,Rampaul or Starc,Rampaul or Morkel,Rampaul depending on conditions

Posted by Rajiv007 on (April 14, 2014, 13:03 GMT)

Very weak bowling line-up......they "Won't qualify for playoffs". How can you say Strong on paper....they will lose all match if they bat first.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (April 14, 2014, 12:40 GMT)

Kohli is not number one batsman in the world. Look at the rankings

Posted by   on (April 14, 2014, 12:35 GMT)

RCB is the South Africa team of IPL. They will choke in the Playoffs or in the Final. Let's see how they are playing in this year IPL. Both Gayle and Yuvraj are not in good form. If RCB wins this year IPL. It must be Kohli or AB should play out of their skin that too consistency. All the Best!!!!

Posted by YsaKaru on (April 14, 2014, 12:34 GMT)

my XI: 1.p patel 2.gayle 3.kholi 4.yuvi 5.abd 6.zol 7.rampaul 8.starc/murali 9.chahal/jakati 10.dinda 11.aaron (albie morkel really out of form.never deseve to playing XI)

Posted by gangulys. on (April 14, 2014, 12:25 GMT)

Kohli is the no.1 batsman in the world no doubt.But he must reduced the aggressions during play.Bcoz its destroy him name and a world class captain wont have this qualities.

Posted by Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on (April 14, 2014, 12:25 GMT)

Star Studded? Yes. But they will need to play some inspired cricket to do well. Gayle seems to not be at his best...but the IPL always rouses him. AB and Kohli are class acts. Starc is their most valuable addition. Parthiv should partner Gayle well at the top. I would personally give Rampaul priority, but I feel like the management will go with Morkel. The problem lies with Yuvraj. If he strikes form, they will do well, if he doesn't, they will struggle. Because they splurged so much on him, they don't have quality backups and if he doesn't deliver, they will have to use Maddinson or Morkel to bolster the batting, leaving the bowling exposed. Still, the big three practically carried the team almost into the play-offs. The addition of some good players like Starc might help them do well.

Posted by   on (April 14, 2014, 12:24 GMT)

RCB should not play parthiv in the XI.He s a good player, but not suited to this team..I think Vijay zol should be given a chance at the top order.He already has a T20 century to his name and is a bright young talent.. AB should keep the wickets with Kohli coming at no.3, followed by AB, Yuvi,Albie and Starc, Chahal, harshal/JAKATI,Dinda/Aaron and Nechim.. Albie should be used as a finisher. RCB has a very destructive batting..so the problem is their bowling attack.. they can rectify it by playing 5 bowlers +albie`s medium pace + yuvi`s spin.. SO MY XI would be 1.GAYLE 2.ZOL 3.VIRAT 4.AB 5.YUVI 6.MORKEL 7.STARC 8.JAKATI 9.CHAHAL 10.DINDA 11.NECHIM. that would make an ideal XI in slow pitches..if they want to play murali in the XI, probably he should come in place of morkel and replace jakati with parthiv... RCB is looking hot in paper!!

Posted by Rakes7 on (April 14, 2014, 12:12 GMT)

RCB has one weakness that is their spin bowling,if virat got best from jakati and yuvi then they r going to be winner this time!

Posted by anton_ego on (April 14, 2014, 12:12 GMT)

I want RCB to open with AB De and Gayle. Since Gayle takes time to settle into the "zone", we need someone who can start smacking the ball straight away. Parthiv is not the right option. We ll end up with 30 off 5 overs in every match. And enough of wasting AB De's talent. He did a fantastic job as an opener for Delhi a few years ago. With AB and Gayle on the top, with Kohli, Yuvi, Zol and Morkel to follow, we have a strong middle order as well. Parthiv can be used as a floater like how Badri was used in CSK. Send him in when there are a few quick wickets. Bowling looks strong as well, with Starc, Jakati, Chahal and Morkel. But a lot depends on how well Kohli captains the team. We have only one good death bowler in Starc. If jakati and chahal click well, then the cup is ours. Go RCB!!!

Posted by ladycricfan on (April 14, 2014, 12:03 GMT)

RCB, two times finalists deserve to win the trophy this time. I'm a CSK fan but wish RCB, DD and KXIP all the best to win the trophy for the first time. CSK added BMc this time to fill the void left by Hussey. Still we'll miss Hussey after 6 years with CSK. Wish Hussey, MVijay and Albie to have a good tournament. Hope Badrinath somehow gets a chance to come into CSK squad. Wish Kholi all best , you are a treat to watch. Learn more captaincy skills. You're the future captain of india.

Posted by   on (April 14, 2014, 11:56 GMT)

Go RCB. This time cup is ours.#Seizetheday

Posted by   on (April 14, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

Why on earth would RCB play Morkel over Rampaul or even Murali ?? RCB don't need a 7th batsman !! they have enough What they need is a strike bowler to go along with Mitch Starc and that has to be Rampaul.

The playing XI should be: Gayle, Parthiv (wk), Kohli (c), Yuvi, ABD, Vijay Zol, Mitch Starc, Ravi Rampaul, Chahal/Jakati, Dinda, Aaron

Yes the tail is a lil longer but then they have 4 of the best t20 batsmen in the world !!! why would you play an extra batsman ??

Posted by   on (April 14, 2014, 11:47 GMT)

Both Gayle & Yuvraj are far below their normal standards. They will prove whether they are over the hill or not at the expense of RCB. These are not the best of days for the owner, in any of his ventures! His celestial "field placements" are quite wrong or what?

Posted by   on (April 14, 2014, 11:41 GMT)

is that a serious quote from Dinda .. ??

Posted by potofazherbaizan on (April 14, 2014, 11:20 GMT)

No one compares Kohli to Batman.

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