Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has questioned whether Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is a star-studded line-up heading into IPL 2024. RCB had Anuj Rawat playing for them in the middle order and he is fairly unknown having scored only 91 runs at a strike rate of 128.16 in seven IPL innings. The Bengaluru-based franchise was forced to add him to the Playing XI last season because Rajat Patidar was injured and Dinesh Karthik had a lean run with the bat.
Irfan Pathan feels RCB will again majorly depend on the trio of Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli, and Glenn Maxwell for the runs as he reckons the bowling is not as strong as it used to be and can be a difficulty for them in the season. Royal Challengers Bangalore are still trophyless after being there in the league since the start. They have reached the finals three times; 2009, 2011, and 2016 respectively.
“Absolutely, because the bowling is not as strong as it used to be, despite them having not won the tournament yet in so many years. So the batting will be the key, how they start and how they play in the middle overs as well. You have got to keep an eye on that. We always talk about them being a batting superstars’ team. However, if Anuj Rawat is playing in the middle overs, is it really a superstar team? So that wasn’t the case,” the former India all-rounder added.
Irfan Pathan also acknowledged the acquisition of Cameron Green would strengthen the batting as the all-rounder has great hitting skills and he also scored a century against Sunrisers Hyderabad while playing for Mumbai Indians in the last season of the IPL. He is a fast-bowling all-rounder from Australia and can be a useful asset for RCB in the middle overs given his hitting prowess.
RCB Is Still A Weak Bowling Side And That Can Be A Huge Blow For The Franchise
Royal Challengers Bangalore could not create a strong bowling side in the auction as they purchased the likes of Tom Curran, Alzarri Joseph, and Yash Dayal and the bowling is still looking a concerning factor for the franchise. The batting prowess can be understood with the likes of Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis, and Glenn Maxwell, and with the return of Rajat Patidar, the middle order would have good strength. They went all in for Pat Cummins at 20.25 crores in the auctions but Sunrisers Hyderabad went a step further to poach the Australian skipper for 20.50 crores.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 is expected to commence during the third week of March and will most likely conclude in the last week of May and RCB will be expecting to win their maiden IPL title this season and end their 17-year-long wait for the title. However, the youngsters will have to perform if RCB wants a shot at the title. The Bengaluru-based franchise has come close to winning the title three times but somehow failed to breach the final barrier all three times.