IPL 2019: Royal Challengers Bangalore Predicted Playing XI

Royal Challengers Bangalore (Strongest XI)

As IPL 2019 is to be played in 2 phases. We have to look at 2 team combinations for the probable XI of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Over the seasons RCB’s main problem has been finding the perfeact players to support  AB De villiers and Virat Kohli.  

1. Batsmen

1.1 Top Order (Number 1, 2 and 3) - RCB ’s first-choice opening combination will be Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli.  Virat Kohli plays best in IPL when he is opening the innings and a left-right combination at the top will be ideal for RCB. Patel only played 6 matches in the last IPL and scored 153 runs at a strike rate of 140, this year might be his calling.

RCB do not have much backup for the opening spot. Devdutt Padikkal is the sole choice for the backup opener. The 18 year smashed 72 against the Bengaluru Blasters and began to evoke memories of Yuvraj Singh in his earlier days. The exciting prospect was bought by the franchise for just 20 lakhs.

Moeen Ali will find it hard to break into the team and will be dependent on luck as a pace allrounder will be the preferred choice for an overseas spot in South Africa.And in the second half, English players will leave from the tournament.

The position of No. 3 - Shimron Hetmyer can be the perfect choice at No. 3 for RCB. The latest West Indies sensation rocked team India with his monstrous hits during the limited overs series. His ability to take on the wrist spinners makes him stand out from the rest. Boasting an average of 33, Hetmyer can be the perfect player who is the missing piece of the puzzle for the Royal Challengers.

2. Middle Order (Number 4, 5 and 6) - With AB De Villiers retiring from International cricket, he is available for the entire season and is an automatic selection at No. 4.   

Shivam Dube comes in at No. 5. The 25 year old all rounder hit 5 consecutive sixes just days before the IPL Auction and caught RCB’s attention. He has been a key member of Mumbai’s VIjay Hazare winning team. With 10 wickets in 7 T20 matches, Dube is very handy with the ball too.

Marcus Stoinis  makes up the rest of my middle order for RCB. One of the best T20 all rounders, Stoinis can be a gamechanger in South Africa. Capable of hitting big at the end, No. 6 is the best position for Stoinis to come in and run riot.

In South African conditions, ABD, Shivam Dube and Marcus Stoinis make up my middle order in numbers 4,5 and 6 respectively.

Colin De Grandhomme will challenge  Marcus Stoinis for the No. 6 position. Stoinis did not have a good IPL 2018 and will lose his spot to Grandhomme in case of a repeat show of that. 
He replaces Marcus Stoinis for the Indian leg. Australian Marcus Stoinis will leave for the Australian team camp. 

3. Lower Order (Number 7, 8 and 9) - RCB’s first choice lower order in South African conditions will be Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Tim Southee at no are 7, 8 and 9 respectively. 

Washington Sundar comes in at No. 7 with his allround capabilities. In 34 T20s he has picked up 34 wickets and is also capable of hitting lusty blows at the end.

Yuzvendra Chahal is a weapon for the RCB team both in home and away conditions. He proved beyond any doubt with how lethal he can be in South African conditions earlier in 2018. Also a wrist spinner’s place is certain if we look at the modern dynamics of the game.

Tim Southee is at No. 9 in my team. His late outswing is a lethal weapon in seaming conditions and the ability to hit lower down the order pushes him slightly up in the batting order.

His backup option in the team is Kulwant Khejroliya. Khejroliya is also a wicket taking option but slightly expensive than Saini and thus loses the mini battle by a whisker.

4. Bowlers (No. 10 and No. 11) - For the South African leg, RCB have 2 world class domestic pacers in their attack in Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav. Umesh Yadav was the best bowler for RCB in 2018 with 20 wickets in 14 matches.
Mohammed Siraj looks a much improved bowler from last year with commanding domestic performances.

The duo makes it to the XI in both the South African and Indian legs.

If any of these fail to perform, RCB has good pace backups in Navdeep Saini and Kulwant Khejroliya. 

Important Notes - 
1) Despite performing good last year, Moeen Ali finds him out of the best XI due to South African conditions and team balance
2) RCB have looked to have spent their money well this year by picking Shivam Dube and Shimron Hetmyer