Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore have always flattered to deceive in the Indian Premier League. How could a side that had the best T20 players in the world in AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle not win the IPL when they were in the squad? How could a side that has Virat Kohli, one of the greatest batsman in the modern era, finish at the bottom in two out of the last three seasons? In IPL 2020, in a foreign land and played at a new season, there is optimism in the Royal Challengers Bangalore camp.
Heading into the tournament, Royal Challengers Bangalore are feeling calmer than ever. Kohli stressed on this point. He also pointed out that AB de Villiers is batting better than before. However, the crucial point that Kohli mentioned was that the IPL 2020 squad for Royal Challengers Bangalore is ‘balanced’. Here is what Royal Challengers Bangalore need to do if they have to go the distance in IPL 2020.
Play more spinners
The heat and humidity in the UAE will make pitches slow and low. Spinners in Twenty20 Internationals have often reaped huge success whether it is India or the UAE. Royal Challengers Bangalore this time have quality spinners in Adam Zampa, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali and Washington Sundar. Playing a combination of offspin and legspin will be a very comforting situation for Kohli, who has often struggled for back-up to Yuzvendra Chahal. Zampa has been in good form in the England T20Is but playing two wristspinners in the team might compromise on the variety. In the 2017 and 2018 season, MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma utilized Washington Sundar brilliantly in the powerplay and he gave them the breakthroughs. It will not be a bad idea if Chahal, Zampa and Sundar play in the side on a frequent basis.
A settled batting
In the past, the modus operandi of opposing teams was simple. Get rid of Kohli, de Villiers and Gayle cheaply and the Royal Challengers Bangalore batting will fold like a pack of cards. In IPL 2020, the batting seems to have depth. Opening with Aaron Finch and Parthiv Patel, the ideal right-left combination, is something that worked well for them when Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan opened. With Kohli at No.3 and de Villiers at No.4, the batting in the top four is settled after a long time.
Having Shivam Dube and Gurkeerat Singh Mann in the lower middle order with either of Chris Morris or Moeen Ali in at No.6 or No.7, Royal Challengers Bangalore have power even at the death. However, all have to be consistent for Kohli to execute his plans.
Being balanced and steady
Too much of chopping and changing upsets the balance of every team. For Kohli to go in with success in IPL 2020, he must ensure that the horses for courses approach is shunned and the team stability is taken care off. The ideal playing XI for Royal Challengers Bangalore if they have to be consistent can be a good mixture of attacking batting, some express pace and then backing it up with solid spinners.
Ideal RCB playing XI – Aaron Finch, Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav