Royal Challengers Bangalore have stocked up their fast bowling in the auctions, and will hope for a better season.

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Season preview

Royal Challengers Bangalore have lost more than six games in each Indian Premier League season so far. It speaks of the inconsistency of the franchise despite it being one of the most popular in the league owing to the presence of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. The two have literally carried the team's fortunes over the past few years by racking up the runs and the two are the highest and second-highest scorers in the league for Bangalore over the last three seasons.

RCB have made a few changes for this season by bringing in a better balance to the squad. Yet, the general notion regarding their batting-heavy side remains. To change this perception, Bangalore will indeed have to come out and show that they mean business this year. This would mean an all-round effort from the squad rather than 2-3 players stepping up.

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Last 3 seasons - WIN/LOSS record

2017 - 3 wins, 10 losses

2018 - 6 wins, 8 losses

2019 - 5 wins, 8 losses

In the last three seasons, Bangalore have finished at the bottom of the table twice and sixth once. They have, in fact, made it to the playoffs only five times in 12 seasons. They have never won the title and will hope to make a turnaround this year.

Squad

Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Gurkeerat Mann, Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson, Dale Steyn, Isuru Udana, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Chris Morris, Pavan Deshpande Parthiv Patel, Joshua Philippe, Shahbaz Ahamad

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Top run-scorers from retained players (last 3 seasons) 

  • Virat Kohli - 1302 runs
  • AB de Villiers - 1138 runs
  • Parthiv Patel - 526 runs

Top wicket-takers from retained players (last 3 seasons)

  • Yuzvendra Chahal - 44 wickets
  • Umesh Yadav - 28 wickets
  • Pawan Negi - 20 wickets

Strengths

Bangalore have a formidable batting unit as always but this season, they seem to have more balance in the line-up with the addition of Aaron Finch, the evolution of Devdutt Padikkal and the late order hitting from Chris Morris. Add in Moeen Ali, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Joshua Philippe and there's something about Bangalore that could be exciting this season.

The spin attack Bangalore have is enticing yet again. Yuzvendra Chahal has complete control of the batsmen on most surfaces. Moeen Ali adds containment and wicket-taking abilities while Washington Sundar is a good powerplay option.

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Weaknesses

Despite adding the likes of Dale Steyn, Kane Richardson and Isuru Udana, Bangalore still seem to be short of one game-changing seam bowler. A lot of the onus rests on Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini, especially with Steyn being injury prone. That they cannot defend totals is a huge concern on some of the wickets these matches will be staged on. 

Season prediction

Though Bangalore have a good squad as such, much of their season could hinge on how they use their players. In the past, this has not worked out well for the franchise, especially under Virat Kohli, and a lot of things will have to change for Bangalore to have a better season.

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Feature image courtesy: AFP / Manjunath Kiran