"I tried my best to make a team that would give us the title, unfortunately, it didn't happen, but life is like that," Virat Kohli said on the Royal Challengers Bangalore's YouTube channel.
After KKR's Shakib Al Hasan hit a yorker for a single against RCB in the eliminator last season, the camera's focus was on Kohli. When RCB's second campaign ended in despair, Kohli bowed to shake hands with the opposition. This was Kohli's last match as RCB captain; A hard truth for franchise fans. About a month later, AB de Villiers, his old RCB teammate and one of the team's point guards, announced his retirement from all forms of the game.
For 3,929 days, slogans like "Virat, ABD, ABD" resounded in Chinnaswamy Stadium. Chanting can sometimes be heard while driving on the 2.02 km section of Cuban Road. In IPL 2022, the melodious sound of Kohli slapping his skin can still have a calming effect on the fans. But since Faf du Plessis is in charge, it will take time for him to get into his soul and tighten it.
RCB has been constantly looking for the right balance since the inception of the IPL, especially in the bowling department. Lack of consistency was another aspect of his concern, from playing with style and greatness to running. So, with the right purchase, can they change the wave of mega auctions? Can Plessis help fill an empty trophy case with a championship title? Only time will tell.
Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy (4 games), Wankhede Stadium (4 games), Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium (3 games), Brabourne Stadium (3 games)
Dr. The floor (250 tons) of DY Patil Sports Academy was imported from South Africa to help the pacers gain speed and bounce. You can also see grass and some mangoes in some of the latest games played on the field (Road Safety Series or DY Patil T20 Tournament). Extra carry could also help in the game of hitter counts, with Kohli and Du Plessis looking to top the lineup.
The grounds of Wankhede Stadium are made of red clay, but yellow clay was also added to increase the clay content. So the hitters should enjoy the bounce on offer and we can get some big points. The bowlers will also be expected to get something from the surface that gives them more bounce. Meanwhile, Brabourne Stadium has historically been known for helping spinners, with occasional fast pitchers coming out with strong performances. Looking at recent trends, hitters are expected to stay out of the bottom. To illustrate the point, many teams were able to score big points in the 50+ Vijay Hazare Trophy games played at the stadium during the 2021-22 season.
There was a time when the platform of Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium was slow. Lately, hitters have found it relatively easy to make big scores. This is evidenced by the T20I match between India and Sri Lanka in 2020 and the ODI match between England and India last year.
RCB decided to keep Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, and Mohammad Siraj before the auction, which saved them Rs 57 crore. In the auction, he was tasked with filling in the de Villiers big step. To fill that important missing part of the puzzle, they hired veteran Dinesh Karthik. The veteran batsman has averaged less than 20 in the IPL in recent history and has averaged more than 128 since the 2020 IPL season. RCB also partnered with Finn Allen and Sherfane Rutherford to strengthen their punching power.
RCB's efforts in the auction focused on the selection of an impressive bowling line-up. The RCB chose Josh Hazlewood wisely and is expected to match the skills of Siraj and Hershel Patel. RCB has paid Rs. 10.75 crores. He has tried to improve his backup options in the bowling department by adding Jason Behrendorf, David Wiley, Chama Milind, Akash Deep, and Siddharth Kaul to the roster.
RCB will keep an eye on Hazelwood, Harshal Patel, and Siraj to lay the groundwork for their victory. The fast duo of Hazelwood and Siraj will be happy with matches played on a course that can help the bowlers to some extent: Siraj has developed a three-quarter seam release while Hazlewood is able to outperform seam motion. In slog overs, RCB Camp expects Siraj and Herschel to mix slowly and hard with New York. However, as of January 2021, Hazlewood has taken 42 wickets at an average of 17.47, while Siraj has taken 20 wickets at an average of 26.72 and Herschel has scored 51 runs at an average of 16.98 in the short format. Siraj's economic rate (7.7) was also on the back of lagging behind during this period.
Hasaranga will be in charge of the spinning department. The leg spinner has a powerful googly that is slightly heavier than your standard ball and is located just below the duplicate. Along with Shahbaz Ahmed, RCB also has part-time options for Glenn Maxwell and Mahipal Lomror.
One of the weaknesses of RCB maybe number 3. Kohli prefers to bat at the top in IPL 2021. Out of the options tested for third place in this IPL, only Shrikar India scored more than 100 runs. So while Kohli is batting at the top of the order with du Plessis, extending his lead could depend on home hitters. Kohli has long been RCB's linchpin. Long story short, it was hard for both Du Plessis and Kohli to get it from strangers. Kohli scored 114.7 while Plessis scored 117.66 against slow left leg/arm spin orthodox in IPL from 2018. Against these two bowling methods, the marginal percentage is also downwards: 10.1% and 12.0% respectively.
If RCB wants to forward the left-right combo, Anuj can go to the front engine with Rawat du Plessis. Maxwell will lead the middle trainers at number four while Karthik will handle the previous trainers. In addition to Maxwell and Karthik, RCB also has Lomror. Nearly a decade ago, Lomror made a name for himself as a batsman, as evidenced by his performances in the Raj Singh Dungarpur Trophy and Vijay Merchant Trophy age-group tournaments. However, he has yet to turn it into a potential run in his checkered IPL career.
Recently, Rawat has taken strong action on the domestic circuit. The top-ranked hitter has also made a name for himself with his anti-spin ability. He likes to take the mallet and then use the crease to play squares on both sides of the wicket against the spin. In Syed Mushtaq Ali's national tournament in 2021-22, the wicketkeeper-batsman average was 33.4.
Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Anuj Rawat, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood