Royal Challengers Bangalore is Karnataka’s own team that plays #bold. Indian Captain Virat Kohli leads the team along with former Indian coach Gary Kirsten behind the scenes. Businessman Vijay Mallya bought the franchise for a whopping US$111.6 million in 2008. His company United Spirits now handles the management. Their jersey is dominated by the colors red, black and gold. Shiva Rajkumar, the Kannada actor, is the brand ambassador for the team this year.
RCB had a slow start in the tournament but picked up the pace when Anil Kumble became the captain. Under his leadership, RCB reached the finals of season 2 and semi-finals of season 3. Season 4 saw the inclusion of players like AB De Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Chris Gayle and thus began RCB’s signature style of playing to the extreme. Chris Gayle repeatedly demonstrated his prowess with the bat by scoring the highest individual T20 score, hitting the first 100 T20 sixes by an individual and reaching 10,000 runs in the short format. The same, however, cannot be said about the team that went to finals again in 2011 but did not even make it to the playoffs in the subsequent seasons.
Nonetheless, RCB is known for delivering exciting, unpredictable matches. At M Chinnaswamy Stadium, their home ground, RCB delivered a mind-boggling 263/5 against Pune Warriors, but RCB also holds the record of the lowest score, 49/10 against Kolkata Knight Riders on the latter’s home turf.
In 2016, following the extradition of Vijay Mallya over unpaid loans, the management of the team went into the hands of his company. The team began on a low note but ended up in the second place in the ranks table after some last-minute wonders. Unfortunately, the odds were still not in their favor as they lost the finals to Sunrisers Hyderabad. The team gave their worst performances in the following seasons, finishing last in 2017 and 6th in 2018.
In 2019, RCB retains the big names while taking 9 new faces, most of whom play only domestic cricket. They transferred Quinton De Kock and Mandeep Singh and brought Marcus Stoinis from KXIP. The team seems to rely surprisingly too much on young blood. They signed local wonder Devdutt Padikkal and Prayas Ray Burman who are only 18 and 16 years of age respectively.
X FACTOR THIS SEASON
For the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the major responsibility will lie in the hands of Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Umesh Yadav. The key players need to keep their performances consistent to make a mark. Eyes will be set on the young guns Devdutt Padikkal, Washington Sundar and West Indies boy Shimron Hatmyer.
CHANCES OF WINNING THIS SEASON
Bangalore remains one of the only three teams that have not won any of the seasons yet. Virat Kohli has a great opportunity here to hone his captaincy skills. The season yet again has started on a low note for the boys who are known to play boldly. The home turf M Chinnaswamy Stadium has now been revamped to favor spins. The chances look grim for the army of fast bowlers that RCB carries. Unless the team challenges itself to get out of its comfort zone and drop some more surprises, the bold army might be in for a disappointment again.
– Written by Anupriya
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