Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would like to launch their IPL 9 campaign on a winning note when they meet Sunrisers Hyderabad today in Bengaluru.
RCB have never been able to break the title jinx despite reacing the finals on two occasions in 2009 and 2011, by finishing as the second best team.
Under the leadership of Kohli, who is in top form, RCB would like to turn the tide this time around and more importantly not letting the off-field controversies surrounding their former owner Vijay Mallya affect them.(Full IPL 2016 coverage )
Kohli, who is considered as one of the best batsman in the world at present, is in supreme form and amassed 273 runs from five World T20 matches to bag player of the tournament award.
Kohli would be eyeing to carry on the good form in the IPL for his franchise, which also has some of the big names of the game in its batting department. With the likes of Kohli, big-hitting Chris Gayle, dangerous AB de Villiers and seasoned Shane Watson up its rank, RCB possesses a mighty batting unit which on its day can tear apart any bowling outfit. (RCB will miss Starc, happy to have Watson: Virat Kohli )
Just-retired Australian Watson would be hoping to prove his worth by producing an all-round show after he became the costliest player in this year’s IPL auction. He was fetched by RCB for a whopping Rs 9.5 crore.
If needed RCB might also be prompted to utilise the services of Travis Head and Sarfaraz Khan, who have shown their capability in the T20 format. New incumbent Stuart Binny and Mandeep Singh would also be hoping to play important roles, as only four international players are allowed in the playing eleven.
Having lost the services of their main strike bowler Mitchell Starc, New Zealand’s Adam Milne is likely to lead the bowling attack in the company of Kane Richardson, Harshal Patel, Sreenath Arvind and Varun Aaron. (Shane Watson excited to play alongside Virat Kohli )
But RCB would be missing the services of West Indies legs-spinner Samuel Badree for the first few matches as he is yet to recover from a shoulder injury suffered during the World T20.