Royal Challengers Bangalore have had more misses than hits in eleven editions of the Indian Premier League, and fans will hope that IPL 2019 can be their year.
They have some of the biggest names in their ranks – players who are all capable of changing the game around with one knock or a spell. If 2019 will finally be their season or not needs to be seen, and here are the 4 players who will be key to their campaign this season.
RCB have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the history of the league, but one star who has stood out for them has been Virat Kohli, who has stayed with the franchise since the very start. When he was bought by RCB in 2008, Kohli was just a youngster who had not yet turned into the monster that he is.
It took some years for him to blossom, and the faith paid rich dividends as he has converted into the biggest superstars in the game of cricket. In 2016, the Delhiite scaled the 1000-run mark in the edition, scoring four hundred, and his form will be crucial to RCB’s run this season. Kohli will be expected to accelerate and consolidate the innings, and if he opens, he will be expected to carry his bat through. With the World Cup taking place just a few days after the IPL, Kohli will want to get into form in the league and carry forward his momentum going forward.
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A day before the auctions in IPL 2018, all-rounder Dube smashed five sixes in an over, which ensured there was heavy bidding for him. He finally landed in RCB for INR 5 crores, and he will be one of the young stars to watch out for. Dube had first come into the limelight after smashing Pravin Tambe for five sixes in an over last year, which prompted Sunil Gavaskar to state that Dube was India’s best all-rounder.
The player had a successful Ranji Trophy, wherein he picked up 23 wickets and scored 632 runs. He played just two games in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament but will be eager to latch onto his chances.
Wrist-spinners have made a huge mark in international cricket off late, and Chahal’s rise too has been nothing less than astonishing. He has emerged as RCB’s numero uno bowler, and his effectiveness has been seen even on the flattest track in the country – at Chinnaswamy.
He didn’t have the best of series against Australia at home, but he would be eager to get back in form ahead of the World Cup. With Washington Sundar alongside him, Chahal will want to take on the spin responsibilities and pitch in with a good show.
Stoinis was the third highest run-getter in the recent Big Bash League, scoring 533 runs at an average of 53.30. He also scalped 14 wickets and hence it was no surprise that teams wanted him in their side after Kings XI Punjab had surprisingly let go of him. The Australian has tremendous potential and was singled out by Kohli as the most threatening player in the series against Australia at home recently.
Stoinis has marked himself as a dependable all-rounder and with RCB struggling to find a bankable all-rounder in all these editions batting down the order, one can hope that Stoinis can be an ideal fit. He can open or bat at number 3 too, according to RCB’s policy going forward into the league.