RCB Playing 11: It is time for yet another Indian Premier League (IPL) season and once again a big opportunity for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to clinch their maiden title. The 2016-runners up Royal Challengers Bangalore will face the defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in the opening game of IPL 2021 on April 9 in Chennai. The Virat Kohli-led team did qualify for the playoffs last season before losing the eliminator against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has already confirmed that he will be opening the batting in the upcoming season of the IPL. Devdutt Padikkal who had an impressive debut IPL season last year and also did extremely well in the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy, will partner Virat at the top. The likes of AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian and Mohammed Azharuddeen will form part of the middle-order.
RCB’s newest recruit in young Azharuddeen is likely to take the gloves this season. The trio of Kyle Jamieson, Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj will be the frontline fast bowlers with Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar as the two spinners.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Playing 11 (likely)
Virat Kohli (c)
AB de Villiers
Mohammed Azharuddeen (wk)
The Royal Challengers also have some great back-up options in Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa who might play a key role in the later phase of the tournament. Zampa will not be available for the first game due to his marriage.
Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Finn Allen (wk), AB de Villiers (wk), Pavan Deshpande, Washington Sundar, Daniel Sams, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson, Harshal Patel, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Daniel Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai, K.S. Bharat.
After the high-voltage home season against England, Indian captain Virat Kohli has decided to take some time-off before entering the IPL 2021 bubble. However, Kohli will be joining the RCB camp on April 1 but he would need to undergo the mandatory week-long quarantine put in place by the IPL as part of the guidelines to operate in the bio-secure environment. After India’s sensational ODI series win over England, Virat mentioned that the administrators need to look after the scheduling as he pointed out that staying in bio-secure bubbles over long periods is very much challenging.
The Indian captain spent the last five months of 2020 in bio-secure bubble for the IPL and the Australia tour. He then joined the setup once again by the end of January 2021 for the home season against England and will now spend another two months in the IPL 2021 bubble environment before leaving for England in June for the ICC World Test Championship final.
“Scheduling needs to be looked at in future, because playing in bubbles for so long, two to three months, is going to be very, very difficult going forward. You can’t expect everyone to be at the same level of mental strength. Sometimes you do get cooked and you do feel like a bit of a change. I am sure things will be discussed and things will change in the future as well. But a different tournament, it brings fresh challenges heading into the IPL,” Kohli had said at the post-match presentation on Sunday.
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