Royal Challengers bought 8 new players in IPL 2021 auction and dropped 10 players from their squad ahead of IPL 2021 season. RCB went for two mega bids in IPL auctions- Kyle Jamieson for Rs. 15 crore and Glenn Maxwell for Rs. 14.25 crore. RCB also bought Kerala wicketkeeper Mohammed Azharuddeen during the auction and look a dangerous side for the upcoming IPL season with the presence of a very strong power-hitting middle-order.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will hope to end their title drought in the 14th edition of IPL. Ahead of the season, we take a look at RCB's strongest playing XI –
Best Playing XI
1.) Devdutt Padikkal
Devdutt Padikkal will be the best choice to open the innings for RCB after the youngster had a breakthrough campaign last season. Padikkal started with a half-century in his debut match last year and played some good knocks throughout the tournament. The left-handed batsman was the leading run-getter for RCB with 473 runs in 15 innings.
2.) Virat Kohli (c)
After the T20I series win against England, Indian skipper Virat Kohli confirmed that he has planned to open the batting for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL for the preparation of Twenty20 World Cup. Last year, Kohli didn’t have the best of tournaments as he seemed to be going through a lean patch. He also couldn’t score heavily in the Test series against England. However, the 32-year old has bounced back strongly in the T20I series and looks to be in good touch before the start of IPL-14. The move could pay rich dividends for the franchise as a move up the order could do wonders for the team.
2.) Mohammed Azharuddeen (wk)
The youngster stole the show for his state team Kerala in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, as he smashed a 37-ball ton against Mumbai to stun the tournament favourites. Azharuddeen was bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the auction for a total of just Rs. 20 lakh. The hard-hitting wicketkeeper could be the best choice for the one-down spot ahead of his Kerala team-mate Sachin Baby.
4.) Ab De Villiers
ABD is a crucial middle-order batsman for Royal Challengers Bangalore. With his natural ability to hit in all directions of the park, AB de Villiers has cemented his position as one of the best finishers of all-time. Last year, he scored 454 runs at a strike rate of 158+ in the tournament. However, having quit international cricket, the veteran has not seen any cricketing action since last IPL, and the 37-year old will need some fair bit of match-practice to hit top form.
5.) Glenn Maxwell
RCB spent Rs. 14.25 crore to buy the explosive Australian all-rounder, who has not justified his abilities so far in IPL. Maxwell can turn the game on its head with his ability to hit long shots. Maxwell’s presence in the middle-order will definitely add more fire-power to RCB’s middle-order and it could be a match made in heaven—De Villiers and Maxwell taking apart opposition bowling attacks in tandem.
6.) Daniel Christian
Veteran Australian all-rounder Dan Christian will be in a direct battle with his compatriot Daniel Sams to be the fourth overseas player in the playing XI. In Sams, RCB will enjoy the cushion of a left-arm pacer, but Christian is a better batsman and highly experienced in franchise cricket. The medium-pace bowler has shown some consistent performances in Big Bash League and his inclusion will help RCB in both the departments.
7.) Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar, who has been retained by the team, has been performing decently off late and will be a useful asset for RCB in the upcoming tournament. He will be the leading bowler in the spin department alongside Chahal and could be used as a pinch-hitter in the batting department.
8.) Kyle Jamieson
New Zealand pace bowling all-rounder Kyle Jamieson emerged as one of the highest-paid players in IPL 2021 auction and was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 15 crore. Jamieson is a hard-hitting lower-order batsman whose express pace will trouble the opposition batsmen. In domestic cricket, Jamieson has scored 235 runs and scalped 55 wickets in 42 matches.
9.) Mohammed Siraj
The bowling attack for RCB in IPL 2021 will bear a familiar look. Pacers Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj will serve as the specialist pacers. Siraj had a spectacular Test debut in Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 and he will hope to open the bowling for his team. Last season, he only got the opportunity sparsely. But when presented with one, Siraj took it with both hands and became the destroyer-in-chief as as RCB restricted KKR to 84/8 in 20 overs.
10.) Navdeep Saini
Navdeep Saini had a poor season last year with just 6 wickets in 12 matches and he also proved very costly with the ball in hand. But the Indian pacer has the ability to bounce back. He will be the third pacer in the team and his pace combination with Mohammed Siraj and Kyle Jamieson could be an intimidating prospect for the opposition batsmen.
11.) Yuzvendra Chahal
The ever-reliable Yuzvendra Chahal will lead the spin attack. Chahal has the ability to provide timely breakthroughs to the team when there is a need for a wicket and he has won numerous games for RCB with his crucial wickets. He was team's leading wicket-taker last season with 21 wickets in 15 matches. The spinner will be eager to fire his team to their first title victory.