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RCB’s Chance at Glory

On paper, the Royal Challengers Bangalore boast of the most complete, dynamic and destructive arsenal at IPL 9. If Virat Kohli, Ab De Villiers and Chris Gayle weren’t already enough – Shane Watson joins the ranks as the prized catch this season to bolster the RCB line up further.

Since the inception of the IPL, RCB have come close several times, with 2 Runners-up finishes at best. But this time around they have strength in depth and balance in batting and bowling. Besides Shane Watson, Bangalore boy Stuart Binny’s homecoming to RCB is set to be another key feature this season, with Coach Vettori already licking his lips. “Last year, we did lots of things really well but the likes of Watson and Binny give us a really balanced squad,” said Vettori.

BATTING LOOKS DEADLIER THAN EVER

Forced to contend with the disappointment of exiting at the semis in the World T20, run machine Virat Kohli will be eager to put the pain behind him and lead RCB to glory right from the front. With Chris Gayle at the top, it will be interesting to see who shares the opener’s slot with the burly Jamaican – with a plethora of options. Shane Watson could suit the role just as much as Kohli, with the dazzling AB De Villiers at number 4. The likes of KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh and Kedar Jadhav will vie for the other 2 specialist batsmen slots with Stuart Binny donning the all-rounder’s role lower down. Binny who was a success at Rajasthan Royals will know that this is his chance to show his home fans what the side had been missing all these years.

BADREE & STARC BLOWS FOR RCB

With Mitchell Starc ruled out due to injury and Samuel Badree – the star of the Windies’ triumphant campaign injuring his shoulder, the Royal Challengers have been dealth cruel blows. But that gives some young Indian bowlers the chance to shine and get noticed. Varun Aaron will lead the pace attack, with Sreenath Aravind too staking claim for his place in the side. With Shane Watson capable of doing just as much damage with the ball in hand, the bowling unit still manages to pack a punch. Stuart Binny will get his 4 overs, while Harshal Patel may get a look in as the spinning option. Adman Milne and Kane Richardson are the foreign bowling options, but one wonders which combination of 4 overseas stars Kohli will decide to go with.

Clearly, this is RCB’s season to shine with a finely balanced unit tailor-made to end years of heartbreak and finally give their fans something to cheer about.

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