We're down to the last team in this IPL2012 Preview series and I've saved my favourite team last. Two time IPL finalist and the CLT20 finalist last year, RCB is a team that has performed consistently except for that very first season and this very well could the year when they get across that final line.
The team is led by the versatile Daniel Vettori and boasts of one of the most powerful batting unit in the league. The West Indian dasher, Chris Gayle at the top is complimented well by Sri Lanka's Dilshan, AB de Villiers, and India's Virat Kohli. The Indian stars such as Myank Agarwal, Saurabh Tiwary, Mohamed Kaif, and Cheteshwara Pujara all are immensely talented and inspire much confidence. The batting has always been RCB's strong point and this year it's no different. At home in the small Chinnaswamy stadium, it is bound to rain sixes! I'm interested to see how Tiwary fares and whether he manages to justifies his huge price tag. RCB's weakness last season was that it's middle order compared to the top was frail and when wickets fell the team struggled to make up. Early wickets would certainly peg back this team and make recovery difficult. Last year the team depended on Gayle alone and that might not be the case this year. Still I can't wait for the big Caylpso to pick his bat and smash a few sixes.
The bowling revolves around Vettori and Zaheer Khan. The addition of Vinay Kumar would be vital and along with Sreenath Aravind, and Abimanyu Mithun will be key figures. Dirk Nannes is another player to watch out for and it will be interesting to see how he goes with Zaheer Khan with the new ball. Buying Muralitharan was a good move but if he bowls the way he did in the Bangladesh Premier League then RCB rather not play him. Andrew McDonald's all-round abilities give Vettori more options and wonder if he'll make the playing XI. Dilshan and Gayle can also bowl and certainly will send a few down.
RCB is one team I definitely see making the last four and hopefully lift that trophy this year. One thing is sure and that is that this team with plenty of style and charisma will be certainly 'thrill the nation' in Vijay Mallaya's own words.