IPL 2017: Can STARS from Royal Challengers Bangalore 'combine to win'?

Indian Premier League 2017: Virat Kohli may miss out the first two games owing to a shoulder injury. Chris Gayle and KL Rahul could open

Well, you remember how France, with a star-studded side in 2002, lost in the first round of the FIFA World Cup. That seems to be the case with the team with most number of stars, Royal Challengers Bengaluru. First, it is unreal to have names like Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson playing on the same team, and what’s more surreal is the fact that in the past nine editions, they have not managed to win it even once. Every time you feel that this is their year and that the glory is theirs for the taking, something goes woefully wrong. That has been the disturbing fate of the RCB unit—a team that is owned by the tainted-corporate Vijay Mallya. In three auctions, RCB shelled out the highest bids to buy Kevin Pietersen, Yuvraj Singh and Shane Watson. Though they made it to the final in 2009 and 2011 against Deccan Chargers and Chennai Super Kings, RCB has faltered in the chase.

So what does the team from down south have in store this year? We will look at the RCB unit and assess their pluses and minuses.

Combination (strengths and weaknesses)

They have always been a top heavy batting unit and this year seems no different. Virat Kohli may miss out the first two games owing to a shoulder injury. Chris Gayle and KL Rahul could open. They will have Yuvraj Singh, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson in the middle order. Shane Watson could be used as a floater, at the top at times and in the middle at others. He will also be beneficial with the ball. In the bowling department, they would dearly miss Mitchell Starc who, too is suffering from an injury, but the inclusion of Tymal Mills will help. They have the mystery bowler in Tabraiz Shamsi as well. Stuart Binny could also give them balance as an all-rounder. Whatever it be, the bowling looks a wee-bit lean for my liking. However, Samuel Badree, the right-arm Caribbean leg-spinner, will strengthen the bowling unit.

Players to watch out for:f Yuzvendra Chahal, Iqbal Abdulla, Sarfaraz Khan.

The squad: Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, Ab de Villiers, Shane Watson, KL Rahul, Stuart Binny, Aniket Chaudhary, Tymal Mills, Samuel Badree, Avesh Khan, Billy Stanlake, Sreenath Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal, Praveen Dubey, Kedar Jadhav, Pawan Negi, Adam Milne, Mandeep Singh, Travis Head, Iqbal Abdulla, Sarfaraz Khan, Harshal Patel, Tabraiz Shamsi