What can we anticipate from the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Tata IPL 2022?

AB de Villiers’ flamboyance and Virat Kohli’s fiery leadership, two of the franchise’s most effective driving forces in recent seasons, are no longer driving forces. Instead, they’ll try to settle in under Faf du Plessis’s cool and collected leadership, which is sure to instil some conservatism into their strategy.

The former Proteas skipper, who is 37 and considered a stop-gap option as a captain, is primarily responsible for steering the RCB ship out of dangerous waters. De Villiers’ retirement has left a significant gap in their lineup. Furthermore, the management was unable to retain the services of key players such as Devdutt Parikkal, Washington Sundar, and other key players. 

Chennai Super Kings were anticipated to sign Faf du Plessis, but Bangalore paid 7 crores for him. He will undoubtedly offer value and will be a member of the leadership group, becoming the next RCB captain. The overall batting lineup, as well as a powerful bowling unit, appears to be ready for Bangalore.

With Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik, their new recruits, sharing the main duty in the middle, Bangalore may miss out on the experience. Unless Bangalore thinks of teaming Rawat and du Plessis at the top, the places are likely to be filled by Anuj Rawa and one of Mahipal Lomror or Luvnith Sisodia.

●   Strengths 

Many folks believe in Hasaranga; Sunil Narine is on his way. Since 2021, the Sri Lankan all-rounder has averaged 15.3 with the ball and a strike rate of 14.7 in T20 cricket, making him one of the best wrist-spinners in the world. Furthermore, the 24-year-old is a capable batter in the lower half of the lineup.

Their pace bowling arsenal is just as good, if not better than theirs. With the new ball and in the death overs, the foreign three of Hazlewood, David Willey, and Behrendorff are attacking alternatives. They also have backups like Siddharth Kaul and Chama Milind, as well as Harshal Patel and Siraj. In general, this is a devastating pace on Mumbai’s pitches.

●   Weaknesses 

Without going into too much detail, we can confidently conclude that RCB’s batting has been lacking this season. With de Villiers no longer in the team to see them through the tough times, and Kohli going through a dry spell as a batter, their batting urgently needs some excitement from the other players. Also, if du Plessis opens the innings alongside the former captain, the middle-order of Maxwell and Karthik will be under a lot of pressure.

Rawat can open the batting and take advantage of the powerplay, while du Plessis and Kohli should ideally bat till the 15th or 16th over, allowing Maxwell and Karthik to play their natural game.

There is an obvious shortcoming, as has been the case with Bangalore for the previous several years: they still lack a reliable middle-order Indian batter, with just Anuj Rawat and Mahipal Lomror as options.

Dinesh Karthik, who has joined Royal Challengers Bangalore from Kolkata Knight Riders, will wear the gloves and serve as the finisher. They may also look forward to some pyrotechnics from spinners Shahbaz Ahmed and Wanindu Hasaranga, who can both use the long handle effectively.

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