It is very easy to call the Royal Challengers Bangalore as the South African cricket team of the Indian Premier League. Like the proteas, Royal Challengers have a strong decent squad to play with and play their heart out throughout the tournament just to see them choke at crucial times and finish at the fifth spot. They are led by the most consistent batsman at present, Virat Kohli. They are one of the teams who can take the hell out of the opposition bowlers while playing. In the 2014 IPL auctions, they went for India’s dashing southpaw Yuvraj Singh for a whopping 14 crores INR. Here is what the men in red and gold have in store for the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League.

    

Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL:

Season

Final Position

2008

Seventh Place

2009

Runners Up

2010

Semi-Finals

2011

Runners Up

2012

Fifth Place

2013

Fifth Place

 

Royal Challengers Bangalore Squad for IPL 2014:

Indian Players:

Batsmen:

Bowlers:

Wicket-Keeper(s):

Overseas Players:

Batsmen:

Bowlers:

All-Rounders:

Strengths:

  • They have the strongest top order in the seventh edition of IPL.

  • They can score down big totals with ease.

  • Presence of Virat Kohli, world’s best batsmen in run chases and AB de Villiers, world’s best finisher at the moment makes them favourite while chasing some good totals.

  • Ravi Rampaul can be dangerous with the new ball.

  • Most of their players are in good form.

  • Playing majority of their matches at home makes it easier for them.

Weakness:

  • Their batting might be a strong force but their bowling is their weakest in the tournament.

  • They don’t have any world class spinners in their side which will hurt them when the tournament comes back to India.

  • Over dependency on Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli.

  • Yuvraj Singh’s form will be a big worry for them after his dismal show in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20.

  • They tend to choke at crucial stages of the tournament.

Players to watch out for:

Chris Gayle:

Ever since Chris Gayle joined Royal Challengers Bangalore in the fourth edition of IPL, the team has become a strong force to reckon with. He has been immaculately consistent with the bat throughout the tournament as he went on to win the orange cap twice in two years and narrowly missed out one in the last edition. Chris Gayle is frightening for any bowling attack. Teams cannot come up with strategies for this Big Man from Jamaica and that’s what makes him a devastating player. In 2012, he became the first man to hit 700 runs in an edition of the IPL. When he bats, he scores sixes for fun, centuries with ease and the fielders are mere spectators and the spectators in the stands become fielders. He was not in good form in the World T20 but he will make a comeback in the Indian Premier League. This phenomenon called “The Gayle Storm” will be evident throughout the IPL.

Virat Kohli:

When you come across the word consistency, Virat Kohli is one of the name that crosses your mind. He is easily the most consistent batsmen of this generation and can adopt to each format easily. He has been the backbone of India’s batting line-up for the past two-three years. He anchors a chase well which will be a blessing in disguise for the Royal Challengers that has a galaxy of big hitters in their line-up. He is also the skipper of the team and he will look to lead from the front. He was the leading run scorer of the recently concluded World T20 and he will be hoping to carry the momentum into the Indian Premier League as well.

AB de Villiers:

This man needs no introduction to the fans, be it the IPL fanatics or World cricket lovers. Like Virat Kohli, he is also very consistent with the bat in the past few years. AB de Villiers is a game changer and he can role-play himself as a finisher, middle order batsman and also as a pinch hitter. He is very dynamic and has all the shots in the books. He can also play some unorthodox shots which others could not have imagined. He gives the opposition captain a big headache when he bats. It is very difficult to set fields for him as he is capable of scoring runs anywhere in the field. Apart from his batting qualities, he is also an acrobatic fielder.

Yuvraj Singh:

Yuvraj Singh might be considered as the reason behind India’s loss to Sri Lanka in the finals of the World T20 because of wasting too many balls in the slog overs. But one bad match does not mean that he was not in his usual self and should consider quitting the game. When it comes to T20’s, he is the King. It is very evident by the amount spent by RCB owner Vijay Mallya on him during the 2014 IPL auctions. He can set the stage on fire from the very first ball he faces and has the ability score some towering sixes whenever needed. He is also handy with the ball. He completes the destructive batting line-up of Royal Challengers.

Possible Playing XI:

Chris Gayle, Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, AB de Villiers, Albie Morkel, Tanmay Mishra, Ravi Rampaul, Ashok Dinda, Varun Aaron, Shadab Jakati.

2014 IPL Schedule:

Match No.

Date

Opponent

Venue

Time

1

17-4-2014

Delhi Daredevils

Sharjah

8:00 PM

2

19-4-2014

Mumbai Indians

Dubai

4:00 PM

3

24-4-2014

Kolkata Knight Riders

Sharjah

8:00 PM

4

26-4-2014

Rajasthan Royals

Abu Dhabi

4:00 PM

5

28-4-2014

Kings XI Punjab

Dubai

8:00 PM

6

4-5-2014

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Bangalore

8:00 PM

7

6-5-2014

Mumbai Indians

Mumbai

8:00 PM

8

9-5-2014

Kings XI Punjab

Bangalore

8:00 PM

9

11-5-2014

Rajasthan Royals

Bangalore

8:00 PM

10

13-5-2014

Delhi Daredevils

Bangalore

8:00 PM

11

18-5-2014

Chennai Super Kings

Chennai

4:00 PM

12

20-5-2014

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Hyderabad

4:00 PM

13

22-5-2014

Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata

4:00 PM

14

24-5-2014

Chennai Super Kings

Bangalore

4:00 PM