IPL 2022 – Analysing the Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the upcoming season
The Royal Challengers Bangalore made some shrewd acquisitions at the IPL 2022 mega auction, investing substantially in international and domestic talent, as well as seasoned players. While they lost promising batsman Devdutt Padikkal and wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, they also added some new faces, including Australian bowler Josh Hazlewood, experienced South African batsman Faf du Plessis, Sri Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, and West Indies wonder Sherfane Rutherford. They retained Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, and Mohammed Siraj months before the two-day bidding event.
Despite being a good squad on paper, RCB have often failed to live up to expectations throughout the years, having made three IPL final appearances in 2009, 2011, and 2016. They’d want to go the distance this time.
Lethal Pace Bowling lineup
Bangalore would have no issue making a difference in the death overs this time around with a powerful pace assault. Mohammed Siraj and Australian bowler Josh Hazlewood are scheduled to split the new ball. Simultaneously, Harshal Patel, Australian fast Jason Behrendorrf, Siddharth Kaul, and England left-arm pacer David Willey will provide much-needed help.
Lack of depth in the power hitter department
There was a time where the Royal Challengers Bangalore were filled to the brim with power hitters. The arrival of Glenn Maxwell last season only added to their arsenal but the honeymoon is finally over. AB de Villiers, dubbed “Mr.360,” announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in November, making him ineligible for the IPL 2022. This means the RCB will be without a hitter who can consistently score runs in the middle and death overs. As a result, Glenn Maxwell’s shoulders will have increased responsibility. The problem will be worsened if Maxwell falls out of form, making it increasing difficult for the free scoring franchise.
The Virat Kohli factor
With Virat Kohli having already surrendered the captaincy of the club after nine seasons as the team’s leader, his replacement will have the opportunity to raise the team’s standards to an entirely new level, beginning this season. As a result, winning the championship in the 15th edition of the showpiece competition would undoubtedly be a blessing in disguise for the team.
For VK however, this season will be the beginning of a whole new era as he can now purely focus on the cricket and scoring those runs for the team. It has been close to three years since he scored a century across all formats of the game and an IPL with no captaincy pressure will be a good platform for the superstar to come back to form and terrorize the bowling attack across all the franchises.
The need to remain consistent
While the squad itself looks well equipped to challenge for the title, one of the biggest problems that has plagued the RCB since the beginning is consistency. It has been very rare to see both the bowling and batting departments peaking simultaneously and this year too, if the trend continues, then the team really doesn’t have much of a chance to qualify to the main end of the tournament. There will be an over dependency on Kohli, Maxwell and Faf as there no other settled batters within the lineup. If the three of them drop off or get injured, then the RCB will be in big trouble.
The same goes for the bowling. There is a lack of quality depth across the table for the RCB and they will be praying that the first string team remains fit for the entirety of the season in order to be formidable and have a chance at winning the title.