Aakash Chopra, former Indian opener-turned commentator, feels that there are a lot of glaring chinks in the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s squad, adding that the Virat Kohli-led franchise is bearing the brunt for some of their poor decisions in the mega Indian Premier League auction back in 2018.
The 13th season of the Indian Premier League is set to kickstart in the United Arab Emirates from September 19. The tournament will be yet another chance for the perennial underachievers in the competition’s history, RCB to shrug off their indifferent form of the past three seasons and start afresh.
Chopra recently did a SWOT analysis of the RCB squad ahead of the 2020 IPL and the former opener pointed out some of the chinks in the Bangalore-based franchise armor. The former KKR player said that the problem for RCB in recent years has been the overdependence on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the batting department. He, however, added that they seemed to have bolstered their lower-middle-order batting thanks to the likes of Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Washington Sundar, and Chris Morris.
“There are some glaring weaknesses in the RCB squad. It is true that when you have not done well in the first big auction, you are always left behind. Because even if you try to pick players in mini auctions or trading windows, you have gaping holes and you don’t get the right players to fill them.” Aakash Chopra was quoted as saying by Sportskeeda.
“One of their problems has been their death over batting. If AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli play till the end it is fine, but if not then who? It can be a matter of concern although it is better than earlier because they have Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar and Chris Morris.” he said.
“Dube and Sundar have played quite a bit for India and have scored runs and done their job, they are far more experienced. They should play Moeen Ali down the order and with the new acquisition Chris Morris, the four of them together can do the job even though they may not be the best in the world.” Aakash Chopra explained.
Aakash Chopra lists the weaknesses in RCB’s squad ahead of IPL 2020
Another issue that has grappled in the past few seasons is their death-over bowler. The likes of Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Dale Steyn are brilliant in the powerplay but they do not inspire the same confidence at the death. RCB added the likes of Chris Morris and Isuru Udana to bolster their death bowling department but Chopra feels that their death bowlers still not inspire confidence.
“The second problem is the death over bowling. Chris Morris is not a gun death bowler, even if you play Dale Steyn, he is also not a gun death bowler. Then who is the gun death bowler – Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj – they do not inspire the confidence that you would perhaps want.” Aakash Chopra said.
RCB has been notorious for being impatient when it comes to sticking with a set of players in the playing XI. Too many changes have paved the way for players uncertain about their role in the team, something Aakash Chopra feels RCB should refrain from doing this season.
”Their threat is that they are not able to play the correct XI. That has been a bit of a concern and they become a little impatient. I would say pick your four overseas and stick with them for a little while. Same is the case with their Indian players.” he added.
Aakash Chopra signed off by saying that if RCB does not get off to a good start to their campaign [which hasn’t been the case in the past few seasons], then the pressure of having not won an IPL title could cone back to haunt them.
“Because if you keep chopping and changing frequently, then you will get stuck. That has been a threat and also excess baggage from the past. Because you have not done well, the ghosts from the past come and haunt you the moment you fail a few times.” he added.