RCB’s Road To IPL 2024: Will ‘Ee Sala Cup Namde’ Finally Come True For Royal Challengers Bangalore This Year?

RCB’s Road To IPL 2024: Will ‘Ee Sala Cup Namde’ Finally Come True For Royal Challengers Bangalore This Year?

In the IPL 2023, Royal Challengers Bangalore had a moderate outing as they finished sixth in the league stage and failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Hrishikesh DamodarUpdated: Thursday, March 14, 2024, 12:36 AM IST
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Royal Challengers Bangalore | Credits: Twitter

Royal Challengers Bangalore is undoutedbly one of the most popular Indian Premier League (IPL) teams in the history of the tournament. RCB might not have won the IPL title yet but their legacy has been defined by passionate fanbase, a star-studded team and thrilling performances on the field, making them a force to reckon with in every season of the tournament.

In three consecutive IPL seasons, from 2020 to 2022, Royal Challengers Bangalore did a decent job by reaching the playoffs. Before the beginning of IPL 2021, the Bengaluru-based IPL team had a change in captaincy as stalwart Virat Kohli stepped down from leadership duties after IPL 2020 and the baton was passed on to Faf du Plessis.

In the IPL 2023, Royal Challengers Bangalore had a moderate outing as they finished sixth in the league stage and failed to qualify for the playoffs. This time, RCB will be aiming to turn the tables around.

How RCB performed at the IPL 2024 Auction?

Royal Challengers Bangalore did well at the IPL 2024 Auction in Dubai in December last year as they strengthened their bowling unit by signing up pacers in Lockie Ferguson, Alzarri Joseph and Yash Dayal and an all-rounder in Sam Curran. RCB broke the bank to acquire Joseph for a whopping INR 11.5 crore at the auction.

Ahead of IPL 2024 Auction, Royal Challengers Bangalore had traded in Australian all-rounder Cameron Green from Mumbai Indians in an all-cash deal of INR 17 crore. Green had a memorable outing in his debut IPL season last year as he amassed 452 runs, including a century and two fifties, at an average of 50.22 in 14 matches.

Green has been in a good form of late, which is a big positive for RCB ahead of the upcoming IPL season.

Formidable batting and pace bowling line-ups for RCB

Royal Challengers Bangalore has a strong and formidable batting line-up, including the likes of Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green. du Plessis can unleash his firepower while Kohli can step up play an attacking style of cricket. Maxwell and Green can stabilize the middle order with their power-hitting abilities.

The biggest positive for RCB is that Rajat Patidar will return to IPL 2024 as he was ruled out of the tournament in the last season due to an Achilles heel injury. Patidar's form is crucial for the team and Madhya Pradesh batter will look to replicate his performance from IPL 2022, where he amassed 333 runs at an average of 55.50 in eight matches.

In the bowling unit, Mohammad Siraj will be leading the pace attack as he has been main pacer for Royal Challengers Bangalore over the last seven seasons. With the addition of Lockie Ferguson and Alzarri Joseph in the team, pace bowling unit looks formidable. Akash Deep is another talented bowler who can trouble the batters with good line and length, which was evident in the first innings of the Ranchi Test against England.

Reece Topley and Tom Curran can be back up options in the fast bowling unit for IPL 2024.

Lack bench strength ahead of IPL 2024

One of the main weaknesses of Royal Challengers Bangalore over the last several IPL seasons has been over-reliance on core playing XI, which is not sufficiently backed up by bench strength.

Dinesh Karthik, who is set to retire from IPL this year, is doubtful whether he had a terrible outing in the last IPL season, scoring just 140 runs at an average of 11.67 in 13 matches. It remains to be seen whether veteran wicketkeeper-batter get to play entire season or certain matches. Mahipal Lamror and Suyash Prabhudessai haven't yet proven mettle in the IPL while Swapnil Suresh is a newbie in the tournament.

Apart from batting, Royal Challengers Bangalore's bowling department, especially spin unit lack a reliable backup option. Glenn Maxwell is the only reliable spinner in the team at the moment.

Royal Challengers Bangalore lacks a balanced squad as they are heavily reliable on pace bowlers and lack a bite in the batting depth and spin bowling unit.

What to expect from Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2024?

Over the last several seasons, Royal Challengers Bangalore's fans often say or chant famous slogan 'Ee Sala Cup Namde' but the IPL trophy has been eluding them since 2008 despite reaching the final thrice in 2009, 2011 and 2016.

RCB often managed to finish in the top 4 and quality for the playoffs. But in the playoffs, they falter. This has been a main problem for the Bengaluru-based team.

This time around, Royal Challengers Bangalore will be hoping to game their around but they need to avoid being over-reliant on certain players and back non-performing players to step up in crucial or crunch situations. This can actually change their fortunes and lead them to their first-ever IPL title.

Royal Challengers Bangalore will begin its campaign against the defending champions Chennai Super Kings at Chepauk Stadium in Chennai on March 22.

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