Even though they've got a fiery batting line-up, RCB failed to address the death bowling issues. The Royal Challengers Bangalore always go into the IPL as one of the favorites to lift the cup.
Even though they've got a fiery batting line-up, RCB failed to address the death bowling issues. The Royal Challengers Bangalore always go into the IPL as one of the favorites to lift the cup. They've got some of the best possible T20 resources at their disposal. However, in the eleven seasons thus far, the side has never managed to lift the title even once. Even though they reached the final thrice, they failed to pass the last hurdle on all of the three occasions. The Bengaluru franchise, after the mega-auction last year, thought it had all the bases covered. They seemed to be extremely confident and also ran the 'Ee Saala Cup Namde' campaign (meaning: This year, the cup is ours). Skipper Virat Kohli claimed that the RCB bowling lineup looked quite strong. However, things didn't materialise on the field for them. The side finished sixth on the points table with only six wins in fourteen games. For the upcoming season though, RCB strengthened their middle-order with some big-hitters and good all-rounders. Yet, they failed to bring on board some reliable bowling options and the attack looks more or less similar to what it was last season. The death bowling still looks to be fragile with Nathan Coulter-Nile not expected to be a part of the entire season. Though, they would hope that the added strength to the batting lineup will make up for the bowling weakness, just like it was for CSK last year. It is important for Virat Kohli and the management to instill confidence in the players. He shouldn't be tinkering too often with the XI and must give them a good run so that they can deliver what is expected. Also, since there aren't many options this year, one could expect him to feature more or less the same XI throughout. Here is the best starting XI for Royal Challengers Bangalore: Openers (Virat Kohli (c), Parthiv Patel (wk)) The Royal Challengers Bangalore will go with Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel as their openers. Patel will be their first-choice wicket-keeper for IPL 2019 and it is a must to accommodate him at the top of the order. He is reliable enough and gives good starts in the powerplays. He can pick the gaps easily and one could expect him to score the 30 to 40 odd runs in most of the games. RCB will bank a lot of their hopes on their skipper Virat Kohli. With big-hitters in the middle-order, the 30-year-old can have two kinds of approaches this year. Firstly, he could go all attacking right from the start and play aggressive cricket. Otherwise, he might possibly be the anchor holding one end tight and thus will give the other batsmen more freedom. Middle Order (AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer) The ever-reliable AB de Villiers, with no pressure of playing the World Cup, can express himself a lot better on the field. As usual, he will have an important role to play. With good batsmen following him in the XI, we could well witness some of the fiercest hittings from the former Proteas cricketer. Shimron Hetmyer will follow ABD next in the lineup. There are high expectations on this Caribbean hitter after the great show in the CPL 2018. He has got the game to go after the bowlers right from the start and IPL 2019 might be a career-defining one for him. All Rounders (Shivam Dube, Marcus Stoinis, Washington Sundar) Shivam Dube is one of the best additions to this side. He will come in down the order and is pretty much capable of striking some lusty blows. He even doubles up as a medium pacer in the side. Marcus Stoinis also has got a similar role like Dube. But, this under-rated all-rounder will have a bigger role to fulfill with the ball. Certainly, Washington Sundar must open the bowling for RCB along with Umesh Yadav. He is more of a bowler who restricts the batsmen from scoring run rather than a wicket-taking option. He can deliver two to three good overs straightaway in the powerplay. Opening the bowling with him also leaves reserves for the death overs. Bowlers (Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj) Both Tim Southee and Nathan Coulter-Nile offer similar sort of services to the team. Yet, with Southee available for the entire duration of the tournament, the management should invest in him right from the start. Southee fared decently in the last season after he was picked in the XI at the later stages. He is highly effective at the death as well. Coulter-Nile can come depending on the conditions at later stages in the tournament. Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj are the other two pace options. Yadav can give four continuous overs at the top while Siraj and Yuzvendra Chahal can bowl in the middle overs. Southee and Stoinis can be the preferred men for the death overs.