Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Royal Challengers Bangalore have strong batting line-up, but bowling is a worry

Virat Kohli is the biggest strength of Royal Challengers Bangalore © IANS
Virat Kohli is the biggest strength of Royal Challengers Bangalore © IANS

Royal Challengers Bangalore have a strong side yet again, but a few chinks in the armour may hold them back. Virat Kohli-led Bangalore have added the likes of Muttiah Muraliltharan, Albie Morkel and Yuvraj Singh in their squad for the IPL 7 season. Nishad Pai Vaidya previews Bangalore’s chances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014.

 

The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have always had a dangerous unit — full of match-winners who can steal the game single handedly. However, an Indian Premier League (IPL) title has evaded them over the years despite all the strength in their line-up. The two-time finalists are a formidable opposition on their day, but have often failed in crunch situations. As has been the case in previous years, they have stacked up their armoury yet again at the IPL 2014 auctions and are ready to challenge the rest when the tournament begins in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on April 16.

Captain

The Bangalore team management should be lauded for their foresight. Prior to the 2011 season, they decided to retain a young Virat Kohli, a player who was gradually growing in confidence and stature. Three years down the line, they have in him, one of the best batsmen in the world who is in the form of his life. Kohli has had a stellar run over the last two years and is obviously the fulcrum that holds the batting together. As a captain, he would have a lot to prove considering the fact that he is the vice-captain of the national team. His quick thinking would be tested in pressure situations. He has captained Bangalore for the better part of the last two years and that experience should help him when coupled with his more matured demeaour.

Key Indian Players

Kohli is certainly the biggest asset Bangalore have in their Indian roster. His form would be crucial at No 3 as he can guide the innings in the midst of players known to take the attack from ball one. But, there would be a lot of eyes on Yuvraj Singh. The southpaw has been termed as the villain of India’s defeat in the ICC World T20 2014 final and he has a lot to prove. A good season could do wonders for his career and that is something he would target.

Key Foreign Players

Two men standout here: Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers. Gayle wasn’t at his best during the World T20, but everyone knows that the IPL is his own turf. Bowlers better beware if he gets going. This tournament may actually give him more freedom and he may feel under lesser pressure. In the middle, they have de Villiers who can turn the game and give that finishing touch to the innings. While Gayle and Kohli usually set things up at the top, it is de Villiers who is the calm finisher. He is by far the best batsman across all formats and can fearless take on the best bowlers. The other important man is Albie Morkel. He is a good addition to this side and can be that utility player in this format. Muttiah Muralitharan is also in the side as the off-spinner.

Other Indian Players

Bangalore have Parthiv Patel, who is perhaps the biggest name in the Indian lot apart from the big stars. He will don the gloves for his side and in all likelihood, should open the batting with Gayle. Yogesh Takawale has been picked, but would have to fight with Parthiv for a spot in the team. Then they have the Kenyan batsman Tanmay Mishra, who plays as a domestic player by virtue of his Indian passport. There are many other Indian bowlers like Ashok Dinda, Varun Aaron, Shadab Jakati, Harshal Patel and Sandeep Warrier.

Strengths

The batting is undoubtedly Bangalore’s biggest strength. It has to be when you have the T20 marauder in Gayle and two of the best batsmen in the world in Kohli and de Villiers. With Parthiv and Yuvraj coming in, they have a very strong top five. If Morkel plays, then imagine the batting order. Now who would  want to bowl to this dangerous batting line-up?

Weaknesses

An over-reliance on their batting may be an issue. Bangalore have numerous bowlers in their side but they can be expensive. Dinda and Aaron can take wickets but can leak runs, something one doesn’t need in this format. Somehow, Bangalore have to fit in Mitchell Starc and Ravi Rampaul to strengthen the fast bowling department. And if they have to fit in someone like a Muralitharan, Morkel may have to be left out. That is an area which would give the Bangalore franchise some headaches and one won’t be surprised if it takes them a few games to work things out.

Past Finishes

Bangalore have been runners-up in 2009 and 2011. They had a disastrous maiden season in 2008, but then picked up. In the last two seasons however, they have failed to qualify into the play-offs despite being dominant at one stage in the tournament.

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 16, 2014  at Galle

South Africa won by 153 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Ravindra Jadeja knighted by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II

India’s win over England in 2nd Test at Lord’s: Twitter reactions

Ishant Sharma pummels England into submission as India clinch Lord’s Test by 95 runs

Ishant Sharma registers name at Lord’s honours board, takes 6 wickets in 2nd Test against England

Bhuvneshwar Kumar England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma MS Dhoni South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

Ishant Sharma signs deal with Cornerstone Sport

India tour of England 2014: Graeme Swann requests Alastair Cook to break routine

Clive Rice, former South African all-rounder turns 65

Asian Games 2014: Cricket teams confirmed; India will not be participating

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: Ravichandran Ashwin should play, says Bishen Singh Bedi

Stuart Binny and the selection conundrum for India’s third Test against England at Southampton

Can America be the ‘Land of Opportunity’ for cricket?

Graham Gooch’s fabulous numbers in all forms of cricket

India tour of England 2014: Ishant Sharma and the curious case of Indian fast bowling

India tour of England 2014: Figures demonstrate why the Lord’s win is special

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

India tour of England 2014: Graeme Swann requests Alastair Cook to break routine

John Abraham to clash with Aamir Khan at the box office this December!

New video game calms down angry kids

Mithun Chakraborty first actor to be cast in Yagavarayinum Naa Kakka!

11 things to know before Commonwealth Games 2014 kicks-off: A walk down the memory lane of CWG!

Microsoft unifying Windows for all devices

Salman Khan vs Hrithik Roshan; Will ‘Bang Bang’ ‘Kick’ the box-office records?

Stuart Binny and the selection conundrum for India’s third Test against England at Southampton

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here