When the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League was forced to pause at the beginning of May, Royal Challengers Bangalore were in a useful position. RCB sat in third place in the table and, with less than half of the group games still to be played, Virat Kohli’s men seemed like certainties for the playoffs.
As the IPL prepares to resume in September, the table is unchanged but the squad is far from settled. Injury to Washington Sundar, Captain Kohli’s loss of form and the withdrawal of key overseas players could leave Bangalore facing a battle to stay in the top four.
It’s hard to compare the intensity of test cricket to the fast-paced nature of T20 but form can transfer across both formats. RCB Captain Virat Kohli has struggled to find his touch for India on the green seaming wickets of England and that must be a concern.
Kohli’s run of modest scores across the first three tests may be one reason why the betting community will stay away from the Royal Challengers. Markets are set to reopen shortly and early IPL betting indications from Asiabet.org are likely to list Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings among the favorites.
RCB will feature in the chasing pack along with the likes of Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad. As the IPL resumes, those odds will start to change in response to match results and asiabet.org will update those adjustments within their own panel of bookmakers.
Readers can assess those odds while there will be news articles and opinion pieces relating to the tournament. The sportsbooks listed among the recommendations will all have separate side markets such as Top Batsman and Most Sixes which will sit alongside Outright Winner and Match Betting.
If those readers do want to register with a sportsbook, many have generous welcome deals in place. It’s a useful platform for IPL bettors but will form and injury concerns mean that they will stay away from RCB?
Virat Kohli may well find his form at IPL 14 but one man who won’t be able to play any part is Washington Sundar. The leg spinner has failed a fitness test after picking up a finger injury on the tour of England and has been ruled out for the remainder of the IPL.
Sundar is an extremely useful cricketer who can score quickly in the later overs. RCB have called up seamer Akash Deep as a replacement but they will miss Washington’s all round qualities.
Two members of the squad are, therefore, firmly under the spotlight while others have withdrawn due to a mix of personal and professional commitments.
Overseas Back on the Plane
Royal Challengers have lost another leg spinner with news that Adam Zampa will not be returning to the competition. With the T20 World Cup following on immediately after the IPL, there was always going to be an issue with players’ availability as they faced the prospect of being in a bubble for over two months.
Paceman Kane Richardson has also withdrawn although he has been replaced by England’s promising left arm seamer George Garton. 24 year old Garton is an exceptional fielder and he could potentially score the late order runs that Washington Sundar would have provided.
The squad will, therefore, see a number of new faces in place before the Indian Premier League resumes on September 19th. The focus will, as always, remain on RCB’s two key batsmen.
Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers must score more than their fair share of runs if the Royal Challengers are to maintain their grip on the playoffs. There will be some support from opener Devdutt Padikkall but Kohli and AB will need to score the bulk of those runs.
George Garton looks to be a perfect replacement for Richardson but Bangalore look a little thin in the spin bowling department. The withdrawal of Zampa and Sundar is an issue and one that could have been addressed better. RCB should certainly consolidate their position in the top four but, once the playoffs begin, the lack of an effective leg spinner could stand in the way of the team and their first IPL Trophy.