The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) squad for the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) might not have much local flair after a sub-par auction, but the three-time finalists still have the personnel to contend for the title.
Apart from re-acquiring Wanindu Hasaranga and Harshal Patel for exorbitant amounts, RCB signed proven names like Faf du Plessis and Dinesh Karthik to go with their three retentions – Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Mohammed Siraj. They filled the rest of their roster with exciting domestic talent.
RCB’s squad for IPL 2022: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Faf du Plessis, Dinesh Karthik, Anuj Rawat, Finn Allen, Akash Deep, Josh Hazlewood, Jason Behrendorff, Chama Milind, Karn Sharma, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mahipal Lomror, Sherfane Rutherford, Suyash Prabhudessai, Aneeshwar Gautam, David Willey, Luvnith Sisodia, Siddharth Kaul
Here is RCB’s strongest playing XI for the IPL 2022 season.
Openers: Faf du Plessis (c), Anuj Rawat
Faf du Plessis narrowly missed out on the Orange Cap in IPL 2021 opening the batting for the Chennai Super Kings, and he should continue in the same role for RCB.
When it comes to captaincy, RCB have to choose between Du Plessis, Karthik and Maxwell, and the South African seems to be the best option. While Karthik’s captaincy saga with the Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t make for great reading, Maxwell might not want leadership to impede his batting.
Du Plessis’ partner remains uncertain. Kohli opened in the last IPL season but struggled with strike rate, leaving the middle order with too much work to do. A return to No. 3 might work out well for the former RCB captain, with the attacking Anuj Rawat – who has opened for Delhi recently in T20s – replacing him at the top.
Middle Order: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (wk)
Following Kohli will be Glenn Maxwell, whose spin hitting will be absolutely invaluable to an RCB top order that might run into issues with getting a move on. The Australian had a spectacular season in 2021 and will also need to chip in with his off-spin as the only bowler in the playing XI who can turn his stock ball away from the left-hander.
Mahipal Lomror played a couple of eye-catching cameos for the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021 and is another spin-hitting option in the middle order. The young left-hander offers a bowling option and is a confident batter who has the ability to clear the boundary consistently.
Capping off the middle order will be Dinesh Karthik, who makes a return to the franchise he once played for. The keeper batting form has been far too inconsistent over the last few IPL seasons, and a return to familiar territory might unlock his true abilities as a finisher.
All-rounders: Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Shahbaz Ahmed
RCB’s most expensive signings of the auction, Hasaranga and Harshal, make up the lower-middle order. While the Sri Lankan will be the lead spinner, Harshal will look to perform his specialist death-overs role.
Playing Shahbaz Ahmed would leave RCB with only three frontline fast bowlers in the playing XI, but the team doesn’t really have many options on the bench unless they want to field someone like Akash Deep.
Ahmed has done well whenever he has played for the franchise, and the ability of Maxwell and Hasaranga to bowl tough overs might prompt RCB to go in with the left-arm spinner, who can also chip in with a few handy runs.
Bowlers: Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood
RCB’s frontline pacers – Mohammed Siraj and Josh Hazlewood – are in excellent bowling form at the moment. Siraj is slowly establishing himself as one of India’s first-choice pacers across formats, while Hazlewood is on the back of an IPL-winning campaign with the Chennai Super Kings and has done exceedingly well for Australia at the international level.
RCB’s strongest playing XI: Faf du Plessis (c), Anuj Rawat, Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood
Q. Should Virat Kohli open the batting for RCB in IPL 2022?
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