The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to get underway with the marquee game between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The Virat Kohli-led side made it to the playoffs for the first time in four years last season. But the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) knocked them out of the tournament in the Eliminator.
Rather, RCB have lost their last five matches in IPL and would be looking to start the new season with a win. The all-rounder Daniel Sams has been ruled out of the opening game after testing positive for COVID-19 on April 7. However, their ace opener Devdutt Padikkal has recovered and joined the team in the bubble. But who will be the four overseas players in the RCB’s starting line-up?
Here’s RCB’s Predicted Playing XI for IPL 2021 Match 1:
Openers (Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (C))
Devdutt Padikkal tested positive for COVID-19 on March 22 and was in isolation at his residence for two weeks. But the southpaw is back in the nets and will be eager to continue his great form. He was the highest run-getter for RCB last season with 473 runs in 15 innings. The only concern with him was his strike-rate after the powerplay overs and Padikkal will be aware of it as well. For the starters, he will be keen on starting the tournament on a high.
Assisting Padikkal at the top of the order will be his skipper Virat Kohli. He had confirmed the same during the England T20Is itself that he will open the innings. Kohli has scored 2345 runs in 61 matches while opening the innings in IPL which is a terrific record. RCB will be hoping for him and Padikkal to get them off to a flyer in the opening encounter.
Middle Order (Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (WK), Mohammed Azharuddeen, Sachin Baby)
Glenn Maxwell is the newest addition to the RCB team and he brings a lot of different dynamics to their batting. Depending on the situation, he and AB de Villiers might swap their batting positions. Maxwell had a forgettable IPL 2020 with Punjab Kings and the Aussie all-rounder will be itching to make amends with the Bangalore franchise. De Villiers doesn’t need any introduction and he continues to be the vital cog in the RCB squad.
After a star-studded top four, RCB will have issues with their number five and six batsmen. To start with, they are likely to go with Mohammed Azharuddeen and Sachin Baby for those positions. Azharuddeen had a brilliant Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where he smashed a ton against Mumbai while Baby brings a lot of experience with him. In case there is a collapse, the duo will have to carry the team and take them to a respectable total.
All-Rounders (Washington Sundar, Daniel Christian, Kyle Jamieson)
Daniel Christian is a veteran cricketer in the shortest format and is making a comeback in the IPL. With Sams not playing, he will definitely get a chance and the Aussie will be crucial to RCB’s fortunes in the death overs. Moreover, he will also have the responsibility of playing the finisher’s role.
Washington Sundar will play a huge role with the ball for RCB. He will more often than not open the bowling and has the role of keeping the opposition team’s runs in check. His batting will also be in the limelight this time around after the way he has batted for India so far, especially in Tests.
New Zealand cricketer Kyle Jamieson attracted a lot of interest in the auction and RCB shelled a whopping Rs 15 crore to secure his services. He can tonk the ball if required and will need to deliver with the ball. He will be under pressure thanks to the price tag attached to him and it will be interesting to see how he fares in his maiden IPL season.
Bowlers (Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal)
All eyes will be on Yuzvendra Chahal in the first IPL game. He was left out of India’s playing XI in the last two T20Is and three ODIs against England. The leg-spinner was taken for runs by England batsmen and it remains to be seen if Chahal will be confident enough this time around. Mohammed Siraj has improved a lot and will definitely start ahead of Navdeep Saini. He will mostly be used in the powerplay and middle overs to reap wickets.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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