The Royal Challengers Bangalore will kick off their 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign with the season opener against the Mumbai Indians in Chennai on Friday. The team led by Virat Kohli reached the round of 16 last year for the first time since 2016 and will look to improve on that this year. While RCB retained seasoned stars like Kohli, AB de Villiers and Yuzvendra Chahal, as well as a strong Indian core of Devdutt Padikkal, Washington Sundar and Mohammed Siraj, RCB also went big in the mini-auction and made add Glenn Maxwell. some firepower in the middle orders and New Zealander Kyle Jamieson for some depth in the bowling department.
While Kohli is yet to win his first IPL trophy, the opener against the Mumbai Indians, which Rohit Sharma has led to the title record five times.
The India and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain enters the 2021 IPL in good form. Kohli finished the T20 five-game international series against England as the top running scorer, with three dazzling half centuries. Kohli also hit two half centuries in the ensuing ODI series and appears to be in good shape. Kohli is expected to open the bat for RCB this season, a role he took on in 2016, which was the last time they made the final. He had hit four centuries this season, and RCB is hoping to rediscover similar form this year at the top.
scored 466 points in 15 games last season, averaging 42.36. His strike rate, however, was only 121.35 and he will be looking to score faster this season.
AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers has been Virat Kohli’s criminal partner and RCB’s most trusted batsman for several years after their captain, and they’ll be watching him again to show his class against what is arguably the best bowling offense in the league. The South African has a strong record against the Mumbai Indians, including an impressive 133 out of 59 deliveries in 2015. Even last year, de Villiers beat 55 unbeaten out of just 24 deliveries in the first league meeting between the two teams.
He scored 454 points in 15 games last year at a strike rate of 158.74. He averaged 45.40.
The crafty hoofer has been RCB’s most prolific bowler since joining, and he’ll be licking his lips at the prospect of facing the Mumbai Indians at the spin-friendly Chepauk Stadium. He was also their best bowler last year, taking 21 wickets at an average of 19.28.
With RCB facing a deadly hitting team, which boasts of powerful hitters like Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya, Kohli will once again be looking for Chahal to be his bowler of choice and secure wickets.
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