The Royal Challengers Bangalore have had an average start to their IPL 2017 campaign. After losing the first match to defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad, they bounced back to defeat the Delhi Daredevils at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.
Unfortunately, they were thrashed by the Kings XI Punjab in their third match of the season. The only positive from the match was the return of AB de Villiers who wasted no time to get back his form as he scored 89 in 46 balls.
The team received a huge boost as Virat Kohli cleared his fitness test and is all set to feature in the next match against Mumbai Indians. Here is the predicted XI:
Chris Gayle started off well in the first match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad as he raced his way to a 21 ball 32. Unfortunately, he was dismissed to a rather loose delivery and was unable to take RCB over the line. He was completely out of sorts in his 2nd match against the Kings XI Punjab as he scored only 6 runs in 8 deliveries. However, with Virat Kohli back in the action, Gayle will be allowed to take his time at the crease before he gets going.
Virat Kohli will finally return to action after being out for almost a month. There was a lot of speculation about how many matches he would miss in the IPL and it was confirmed just yesterday that he passed the fitness test and will be available for selection against the Mumbai Indians. He was phenomenal last season as he managed to score 973 runs in 16 innings at a phenomenal average of 81.08 with four centuries to his name. If he replicates that form, RCB could be well on their way into the playoffs.
AB de Villiers was the only reason why RCB managed to score 148 in the previous match against KXIP. He attacked the Punjab bowlers right from the very beginning and played some exemplary shots in the last few overs as he managed to score 89 in 46 deliveries. Unfortunately, KXIP proved to be too good for RCB as they won by 8 wickets.
Kedar Jadhav has arguably been the best batsman for RCB so far. He threatened to take the game away from SRH in the first match but was cut short by a brilliant piece of fielding by Ben Cutting. However, he proved his worth in the match against Delhi with a match-winning knock of 69. Unfortunately, he was dismissed due to a bad call by the umpire in the previous match.
Mandeep Singh got off to good starts in the first two matches but was unable to convert that into a big score. He played second fiddle to AB de Villiers in the previous match but was dismissed after scoring 28 in 34 balls. He looks confident and it is only a matter of time until we see a big score off his bat.
Shane Watson is not the man he once was. He has looked completely out of sorts in the first three games. He failed to perform with the bat and bowled well in only the 2nd game against the Daredevils. With the captaincy pressure off his shoulders, he will look to get back to form and score big.
Stuart Binny has been scoring runs but the problem is that his strike rate has been quite low and has not been able to fire. He has bowled only 1 over so far, unlike the previous season where he was constantly used to open the bowling. He will have to step up in order to keep his place in the side.
Pawan Negi bowled only one over in the match against the Daredevils but that proved to be the most important over of the match as he managed to defend 19 in the final over and took the all important wicket of Pant. He will hope to play a bigger role in the playing XI against Mumbai.
Iqbal Abdullah conceded 36 runs in three overs in his first match of the season but managed to pick up the vital wickets of Sam Billings and the dangerous Chris Morris. He has proved to be useful to RCB in previous seasons and will look to continue picking up important wickets in the next match as well and hopefully concede lesser runs.
Tymal Mills was the most expensive buy for RCB this season and had a lot of pressure on his shoulders to perform in the first two matches of the season. He proved his worth with the ball as he did not concede too many runs and picked up wickets at regular intervals as well. He will look to carry RCB’s bowling line-up on his shoulders for the entire season.
Yuzvendra Chahal has been the best bowler for RCB since the beginning of last season. He missed out on the purple cap last year and fortunately continued his good run of form into this year’s IPL as well. He has a solid temperament and this holds him good stead and his record both home and away is brilliant