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Kohli to open, Maxwell to finish: Bangalore’s strongest IPL 2021 XI

With less than a week before the start of the 14th edition of IPL, let’s have a look at the strongest possible starting XI for RCB.

Source: IANS

It has been 13 years since the Indian Premier League (IPL) began, but the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are yet to lift the trophy. The Red and Gold Army were knocked out of the tournament by Sunrisers Hyderabad in Eliminator last year.

Led by Virat Kohli, RCB have got a decent-looking squad ahead of IPL 2021. The addition of the ‘Big Show’ Glenn Maxwell (INR 14.25 crores), Kyle Jamieson (15 crores), and Dan Christian (4.8 crores) ahead of the new season brought balance and added options to the RCB line-up. 

RCB’s over-reliance on AB de Villiers and Kohli may be over in 2021. Their other signings were Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammad Azharuddeen, Suyash Prabhudesai, and Kona Srikar Bharat – all at their base price of INR 20 lakhs.

Let’s have a look at the RCB’s strongest likely XI for IPL 2021:

Openers

After the recently-concluded India-England T20I series, Kohli announced that he would be opening the RCB innings this time. With 5,878 runs, he is the tournament’s all-time top scorer. He’ll pair with Devdutt Padikkal, who top-scored for them last year with 473 runs. However, Padikkal has recently tested positive for Covid-19 and could miss the first few games.

Middle-order

Wicketkeeper-batsman Finn Allen is a serious contender to come at No. 3. He has been added to the squad in place of Josh Phillipe. AB de Villiers will come at No. 4 to make the RCB line-up look deadlier.

All-rounders

At No. 5, Glenn Maxwell will once again have his chances to prove his worth. His countrymate Dan Christian brings experience to the unit and is likely to come at No. 6. However, that may make it one overseas player too many, which may open the door for Mohammed Azharuddeen.

Washington Sundar is an automatic choice for RCB, especially after some superb recent outings in international cricket.

Bowlers

Kyle Jamieson will be making his IPL debut this year. He has proved his potential in Tests but yet to become a regular wicket-taker in the shortest format of the game. Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini are set to be his pace bowling partners. Meanwhile, Yuzvendra Chahal will once again get his chances to impress the BCCI selectors ahead of the T20 World Cup this year. 

RCB’s strongest likely XI for IPL 2021:

Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Finn Allen (wk), AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

RCB’s full squad for IPL 2021:

Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Finn Allen (wk), AB de Villiers (wk), Pavan Deshpande, Washington Sundar, Daniel Sams, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson, Harshal Patel, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai, K.S. Bharat

Ritam is a postgraduate in Multimedia Journalism based out of West Bengal, India who loves to write passionately about cricket. He spends his time reading about the heroes of the sport and is always keen to learn a bit more.

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