Balance issues in the playing eleven, injuries and over reliance on skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers marred RCB’s titles chances last season in the UAE. Off to a brilliant start, Bangalore ran out of steam in the fag end of the competition, losing five matches in succession to bow out in the Eliminator.
After releasing 10 players ahead of the auction, the team management focussed on strengthening both its batting and bowling departments. And, it has assembled a strong squad on paper once again. Kohli, who enjoys an impressive record as an opener, has already confirmed that he would play at the top of the order.
The India captain will be partnered by Devdutt Padikkal, who impressed last season and is in red-hot form. Young wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammed Azharuddeen and Finn Allen are the other attacking options. South African de Villiers and Maxwell add the fire power to the middle-order, which also comprises Washington Sundar and Daniel Christian among others.
But, Australian big hitter Maxwell will have to put his last season’s performances behind him and start firing on all cylinders. RCB possesses a potent spin battery led by leggie Yuzvendra Chahal. The India international will be accompanied by Washington and Adam Zampa.
Part-time bowler Maxwell could chip in with a few overs when necessary. The franchise would be delighted with the fact that it will be playing seven of its league matches on spin-friendly tracks in Chennai and Ahmedabad. But, Bangalore will have to handle its pace-bowling department well if it wants to go the distance.
The Aussie trio of Christian, Daniel Sams and Kane Richardson will join forces with Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj and New Zealand’s Jamieson. Medium pacer Harshal Patel is also a member of the bowling group, which doesn’t inspire much confidence. However in general, the presence of a host of game-changers in the squad makes Bangalore a threat in IPL 2021 that is set to begin in Chennai on April 9.