IPL 2021: From Virat Kohli to Kyle Jamieson, Five RCB Players to Watch Out For
Royal Challengers Bangalore will be keen, and even desperate, to win their first trophy in IPL 2021. Having been around since 2008, they have come close quite a few occasions but have never been able to lay hands on the cup. In 2020 too, they had a great start but lost momentum in the second half to eventually finish fourth. Can Virat Kohli and boys go the distance this year?
RCB have a well balanced squad with experience and youth in plenty. Here’s a look at some key players who could be game changers for RCB.
Virat Kohli: The captain himself. He has been under pressure to win the trophy, especially after the 2020 season. There were questions over his position as captain of the Indian T20I squad, but not any longer after series wins in Australia and India against England. Yet, only an IPL win will satisfy the RCB fans. Will this be the year?
Kohli sounded a warning to IPL teams at the end of the T20I series against England, saying he’ll open the batting in the IPL too. Kohli wants to keep all options open ahead of th T20 World Cup later this year, and this might just be the move that does the trick for RCB. The last time he batted regularly as an opener for RCB, he scored more than 900 runs in the season (2016)!
Devdutt Padikkal was in exceptional touch during the 2021 Vijay Hazare Trophy amassing 737 runs in just 7 innings at an average of 147.4 and strike rate of 95.96 including a record four hundreds on the trot. He was also in tremendous form in the previous edition of the IPL in the UAE outscoring both AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli to end as the highest run-getter for RCB in the season. Another fine season for the RCB and Padikkal could be in that World T20 squad for India come October.
Glenn Maxwell failed to hit a six in IPL 2020. He made only 108 runs from 13 matches. Yet, he went for Rs 14.25 crore at the auction! That’s the aura of Glenn Maxwell, and the potential power he provides at the middle order. That’s the reason RCB have given him the money they have.
RCB would have also hoped for matches in Bangalore to make most use of Maxwell, but that isn’t to be. RCB, though, are playing five matches on the trot in Kolkata towards the end, where Maxwell will be invaluable. Maxwell and AB de Villiers in the middle order is not what bowlers want to be bowling to!
Kyle Jamieson: RCB dropped Chris Morris and got Kyle Jamieson for Rs 15 crore. Since then, he has struggled in the T20Is in New Zealand, particularly bowling in the death overs. Will RCB be nervous? Unlikely, for Jamieson provides pace and lower order hitting ability.
“He’s a smart enough cricketer, surrounded by good people, and he’ll come out of the other side. When you look at a player, you don’t look at a player just over a very short period of time. You look at the characteristics that he’s got. He’s got some good fighting qualities. He struggled, he didn’t find his lengths, he looked like he lost his run-up. We know he’s a very good player and although we would like him to be performing better, we’re not too worried just yet,” Mike Hesson told Sky Sports NZ recently.
Washington Sundar: He has always flown under the radar despite his economical bowling, but that is slowly changing. Washington has become a household name in India after his heroics in Australia, the win in Gabba marking a tremendous debut. He carried that form to the Test series at home against England, where he once again showed tremendous promise with impactful knocks.
Washington will now take the role of a senior player in the RCB set up, both with bat and ball.