For the 9th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL 2016), Royal Challengers Bangalore have assembled some really serious batting firepower. Any opposing teams' plans will specifically focus on means to contain it.
IPL’s mini auction in February, threw in powerful players, Australian star Shane Watson and young Travis Head.
If Head’s Australian T20 strike rate of 149.73 is anything to go by, he will be a massive hit, whenever he gets a chance for RCB. Daniel Vettori, being the coach of Head, has become the prime reasons for the special interest on the young player.
Gayle, De Villiers, Kohli and Watson are however expected to do big and even RCB is expecting the same. Mitchell Starc would be staying away from the match, as he is yet to recover completely from an ankle injury. His absence is expected to show big impact.
However, hopes are still high, as Australian Kane Richardson and New Zealander Adam Milne, two quick bowlers are in the game.
If RCB opts to go batting heavy with the four foreigners permitted in the playing eleven, Indian trio of medium pacers, Varun Aaron, Sreenath Arvind and Harshal Patel will get plenty of opportunities.
ICC T20, Samuel Badree of West Indies, is another big hope in the ranks. He is considered as a good option to counter explosive batsmen Gayle and De Villiers.
Young Karnataka leg spinner Praveen Dubey who is an outstanding fielder also, would be lucky if he breaks into the team, his talent notwithstanding.
RCB’s impressive act this time is that there is a problem of choice. Their choice of squad is good, with a capable all-rounder in the form of David Wiese as cover for Watson, Head for either Gayle or de Viliers, Richardson for Milne or even Dubey for Chahal. This like-for-like cover speaks a lot for the depth of the team.
The team: Abu Nechim Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Kedar Jadhav, Lokesh Rahul, Mandeep Hardev Singh, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Sreenath Arvind, Varun Aaron, Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal, AB de Villers, Adam Milne, Chris Gayle, David Wiese, Vikas Tokas, Kane Richardon, Akshay Karnewar, Praveen Dubey, Iqbal Abdulla, Parvez Rasool, Travis Head, Shane Watson, Stuart Binny.
By Phani Ch