There is absolutely no doubt that Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is one of most talked-about teams in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Time and again, a lot has been written on how they simply cannot win the coveted IPL title. They’ve reached the IPL final three times (2009, 2011 and 2016) and have faltered on all occasions.
Also Read: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Squad for IPL 2020: RCB Team Analysis, Probable Playing XI and full list of players
RCB have had the biggest of names in T20 and world cricket. Yet, they just haven’t found a way to be consistent, let alone winning the IPL.
They have reached the top four just five times in 12 seasons. In the last three seasons, the Bangalore-based franchise have finished with the wooden spoon twice (2017 and 2019) and finished sixth in 2018.
One of their big nemesis has been the constant chopping and changing. Not only every season but match after match, RCB tend to make quite a few changes.
After losing six games on the bounce, RCB did bounce back decently last season as they won five out of their last eight games (losing two, one washout). However, the damage had been done.
They will be desperate to turn things around this year. After retaining just 13 players from the 2019 season, they pouched eight players in the auction for the 2020 season and have added some depth. The three-time finalists have gone in and bought some quality overseas options.
Like every season, the spotlight will once again be on their batting. RCB have always been a batting heavy side and it will be no different even though there is a decent balance. Thus, here are three players who could end up winning the Orange Cap in the 2020 edition of the IPL.
Virat Kohli is one name that will be at the top of most people’s list. He is the face of this RCB set-up and has been the talisman for a number of years now. He is the leading run-getter in the IPL, having amassed 5412 runs at an average of 37.85.
However, in the last five seasons, Kohli has become a very consistent in the IPL. It’s coincided with his peak in international cricket as well. Since 2015, no player has scored more runs than Kohli in the IPL.
The RCB skipper has amassed 2780 runs at an average of 47.93 and a strike-rate of 139.91. This period also includes all his five tons which is the most again. Overall, his 25 fifty-plus scores are only second to Warner’s 30.
In four out of the last five seasons, Kohli has made more than 450 runs. This includes the mind-boggling and record-shattering 973-run season in 2016 where he almost single-handedly took RCB to the title.
Kohli has been the head of the RCB batting line-up and he has always been crucial to their chances and this time it’s going to be no different.
AB de Villiers
If Kohli is the head of the RCB batting line-up, AB de Villiers is the heart. It is these two who’ve defined not only RCB’s batting but the team and franchise altogether in the last few years. De Villiers along with Kohli has been the torch-bearer and a lot depends on their form.
The South African star has played every single season of the IPL. He was a part of the Delhi Daredevils (now, Capitals) for the first three seasons.
However, de Villiers of DC and de Villiers of RCB are like chalk and cheese. In those first three years with Delhi, he scored just 671 runs, averaging 31.95 at a strike-rate of just 117.31.
And from the time he moved to RCB, only once has de Villiers not been able to make 300 runs or more in an IPL season and that was in 2017. Out of his 4395 runs in the IPL, 3724 have come for RCB. He averages 41.84 and has a strike-rate of 159.55.
Thus, like Kohli, de Villiers’ form has been vital to RCB’s chances. The retired South African sensation has never won the Orange Cap and he would love to get in the race this time around.
Aaron Finch was one of RCB’s big buys this season. In fact, at INR 4.4 crore, the Australian white-ball skipper was a value addition to the squad. Finch is a gun T20 player and is a top opening batsman.
He has played loads of T20 cricket all across the globe and averages 36.08 and strikes at 143.75 while amassing 8914 T20 runs.
Finch is someone who can take the pressure off Kohli and de Villiers. RCB’s batting has largely been defined by those two superstars and the duo have been doing the bulk of the scoring.
However, with Finch coming in, the workload might just get a little more eased out and better distributed. Finch is expected to open but he can bat at various positions and yet, be successful.
This is the eighth IPL team for Finch and he hasn’t really had big success at the IPL level. It was with Gujarat Lions (GL) in 2016 and 2017 where he was at his best, despite shuffling around the batting order. However, Finch brings a lot of quality and experience to the table.
RCB will definitely rely on him to give some solid starts at the top and score consistently. Among Royal Challengers Bangalore players, it is very likely for him to be one of the contenders for the Orange Cap.