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Sunday, March 03 2024
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Can RCB finally win an IPL title?

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The Indian Premier League has become the world’s best domestic T20 competition. Since the first edition in 2008, it has grown in stature and popularity to dominate the headlines every spring. Eight franchises will compete for glory in IPL 2020, with Mumbai Indians aiming to defend their crown. In 13 years, three teams who’ve played in every edition of the IPL have yet to be crowned winners. Perhaps the most surprising of them, are the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The RCB squad has glittered with a galaxy of cricket’s biggest stars over the years. Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, and AB De Villiers have all represented the franchise. However, they’ve never managed to take the final step to IPL glory. Three times runners up – most recently in 2016 – will this be the year that they clear the final hurdle? It would be some turnaround compared to recent displays if they did, RCB has finished bottom of the eight-team standings in two of the last three campaigns.

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RCB capable of brilliance but often underwhelming
The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru has often produced enthralling T20 contests. Indeed, RCB has often profited from a ground that produces exceptional pitches for batting. Their bowling has faltered regularly though. The inability to restrict their opposition coupled with a batting unit that has often disappointed their legions of loyal fans is hardly a recipe for success. If there’s one statistic that encapsulates this perfectly, it’s that the highest (263/5) and lowest score (49 all out) in IPL history both belong to RCB.

What are RCB’s chances of winning IPL 2020?
Mumbai Indians are favorites to retain their IPL title according to the bookmakers. The latest odds suggest that Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings are their closest rivals this year. RCB is priced at around 8.0 (7/1) to win IPL 2020. So, while they’re not one of the frontrunners, some improvement is expected. The top IPL betting sites will also list markets for outcomes such as Top Batsman, Top Bowler and many more. Virat Kohli will certainly be a popular wager to win the Orange Cap once more given RCB’s trend for high-scoring matches.

  • Mumbai Indians – 4/1 (5.0) 
  • Sunrisers Hyderabad – 9/2 (5.50) 
  • Chennai Super Kings – 5/1 (6.0) 
  • Delhi Capitals – 6/1 (7.0) 
  • Royal Challengers Bangalore – 7/1 (8.0) 
  • Kolkata Knight Riders – 7/1 (8.0) 
  • Kings XI Punjab – 9/1 (10.0) 
  • Rajasthan Royals – 9/1 (10.0)

Kohli leading from the front

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Virat Kohli has often produced the goods for his franchise for many years. Signed by Royal Challengers Bangalore on a youth contract in 2008, Kohli has been setting and breaking records ever since. He is the tournament’s top run-scorer and holds the record for the highest tally in a single season. The RCB captain won the Orange Cap having racked up 973 runs in 16 matches during the 2016 season, the last time his side appeared in an IPL final. Another emphatic season with the bat would put RCB in a good position for an elusive title. However, his recent form has seen him slip from the top of the ICC Test rankings so there is work to do for the franchise captain.

Who’s new for RCB this season?
The IPL auction brought about plenty of changes. RCB has added Aaron Finch and Josh Philippe to bolster their batting. The Australian pair will certainly appreciate the friendly batting track at the Chinnaswamy. Philippe is a new name in the IPL. The 22-year-old hit 487 runs for the Sydney Sixers in the most recent edition of the Big Bash League and looks a promising talent.

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South African all-rounder Chris Morris was the most expensive addition at 10 crores, while Kane Richardson joined as an overseas bowler. Dale Steyn was re-signed having been released before the process began. RCB will hope that these changes mean their squad is more rounded ahead of the new season in search of a first victory in the competition.

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