Royal Challengers Bangalore have qualified for the playoffs for the second season in a row. They will face the resurgent Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator at Sharjah on Monday. In this article, we take a look at the strongest RCB XI for the playoffs of IPL 2021.
Despite having a few weaknesses in the squad, RCB has managed to do well with different players stepping up at different instances. They are likely to retain the winning combination for the eliminator, too. The conditions at Sharjah will be taken into account while deciding the XI.
Openers: Virat Kohli (C) and Devdutt Padikkal
Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal will continue to be the openers in the strongest RCB XI for the playoffs of IPL 2021. The duo has not done well in recent games. While against Delhi, both of them fell early, against SRH, Virat fell early while Padikkal played an unproductive knock. The duo will be hoping to make amends in the playoffs. However, they will have their task cut out against KKR’s bowlers, who have been in fine form.
Middle-Order: KS Bharat (WK), Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers
Despite AB de Villiers not being at his best in the UAE leg, it is the middle-order of RCB that is helping them win the games. AB also got to spend some time in the middle on Friday and RCB will hope that the South African will find his feet.
On the other hand, KS Bharat and Glenn Maxwell have been sensational for the franchise. Bharat played a match-winning knock against Delhi while Maxi has already produced some fine knocks this season. Bharat has also been excellent behind the stumps while Maxwell has come in and bowled a few economical overs for Virat.
All-Rounders: Dan Christian, Shahbaz Ahmed and George Garton
The all-rounder’s department of RCB has contributed to the bowling department but has failed to come in support of the batters. This is a glaring loophole in the squad. However, RCB is unlikely to change this combination because it has served them well in recent games.
All of Christian, Shahbaz and Garton has been decent with the ball. However, none of them has done well with the willow. Especially Christian, who has failed big time despite getting a few opportunities. That said, RCB are unlikely to drop any of the players. Christian has the experience and will be useful with his medium pace in Sharjah. Garton is learning well while Shahbaz has the knack of being a game-changer. Hence, this unit is likely to remain the same.
Bowlers: Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj and Yuzvendra Chahal
RCB may not make any changes to their successful bowling combination for the playoffs. Harshal Patel has been a revelation, and the threat of his slower deliveries has become even more in UAE. Chahal has rediscovered his form, and this has been RCB’s biggest advantage in recent games. Siraj’s resurgence in the last year or two has been amazing. He is an improved T20 bowler and is nailing the yorkers and the other variations. Siraj will lead the bowling attack for this XI.