Preview: Two-time finalists RCB eye breaking trophy jinx
cricbuzz 2015-09-18 03:48

Royal Challengers Bangalore is considered by many as the devil-may-care team of the Indian Premier League. Over the years, they have fielded star-studded sides, and the kind of support that they get wherever they go is unparalleled. However, this is also the team that has disappointed the most. With the kind of firepower in their batting department, along with a bunch of quality bowlers, RCB should have at least been a constant presence in the play-offs.

However, the fact that they have made it past the group stage only three times since the inception of the Indian Premier League is proof that having big names is not the sole recipe for success. Inconsistency and complacency have been RCB's bane in the last three years as they finished fifth, fifth and seventh, and whether they have addressed those issues remains to be seen.

Captain:

Virat Kohli has been with RCB since the first season and took over the full-time leadership role in 2013. Indian team's poster boy and a superstar in his own right, Kohli will be keen to lead from the front and improve his captaincy record during the eighth edition of the IPL.

Coaches:

Former RCB captain Daniel Vettori took over as chief coach of the side in 2014 and he will continue to serve the team in the same capacity this year. He has the support of bowling coach Allan Donald, batting and fielding coach Trent Woodhill, as well as the latest recruit to the coaching staff - Bharat Arun - who has joined the team as assistant coach for the current season.

Previous IPL standings:

2014: seventh, 2013: fifth, 2012: fifth, 2011: runners-up, 2010: third, 2009: runners-up, 2008: seventh

How they fared in IPL 7:

RCB started their 2014 campaign on a good note with back-to-back victories. However, they lost their remaining three matches of the UAE leg, before ending up with just three wins in nine matches in India to finish second from bottom.

New additions:

Yuvraj Singh, who was bought for a whopping sum of Rs 14 crore ahead of the 2014 season, was one of the several players not to be retained. Dinesh Karthik (Rs 12.5 crore in 2014) was released by Delhi Daredevils and was picked by RCB for Rs 10.5 crore this season. Subramaniam Badrinath, Darren Sammy, Sean Abbott, Adam Milne, David Wiese, Jalaj Saxena, Sarfaraz Naushad Khan and Shishir Bhavane were the other players added to the squad after the IPL 2015 auction. During the transfer window, RCB got hold of Manvinder Bisla and Iqbal Abdulla, who add strength to the domestic presence in the line-up.

Key Players:

While RCB have relied mostly on Chris Gayle to provide them with blistering starts in the past, they cannot continue to do so as the hard-hitting left-hander, who is struggling with his fitness, may not be at his best.The onus will be on Kohli and AB de Villiers to do the bulk of the scoring while Karthik will also have an opportunity to prove his money's worth.

With Mitchell Starc and Adam Milne expected to miss the start of the eighth season due to injuries, India speedster Varun Aaron will be a vital cog in RCB's bowling line-up. The fiery pacer, who was left out of India's World Cup squad, made a statement by bowling superbly in the domestic competitions recently, and he will be keen to extend his form during the IPL. Haryana's Yuzvendra Chahal was impressive in the previous season with his canny leg-breaks and variations, and the team will count on him to get the job done when it comes to spin bowling.

IPL 8 chances:

RCB have a well-balanced squad with a good blend of world-class players and promising youngsters. With experienced Indian internationals, quality overseas players and talented domestic names - not to mention a reputable coaching staff, RCB have everything in order to get their campaign moving forward. However, looking good on paper does not get the job done and all that really matters is the performance on the field. RCB will be hoping that they fire as a unit and not get carried away by the occasion, which has not often been the case with the team.

Prediction:

With a line-up as good as the one RCB have had over the years, they would be disappointed that they have been without a title. Going by the current line-up, making it to the play-offs should not be much of a problem. Having said that, they have flattered to deceive on several occasions and it should not come as a surprise if they fail to go the distance.

Squad: Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villers, Chris Gayle, Mitchell Starc, Nic Maddinson, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal, Rilee Rossouw, Vijay Zol, Yogesh Takawale, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Ashok Dinda, Sandeep Warrier, Manvinder Bisla, Iqbal Abdullah, Dinesh Karthik, Subramaniam Badrinath, Darren Sammy, Sean Abbott, Adam Milne, David Wiese, Jalaj Saxena, Sarfaraz Naushad Khan, Shishir Bhavane.

via:www.cricbuzz.com
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