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Though my answer is a biased one based on the fact that RCB is my favorite team, I will explain why RCB actually have covered enough bases this time around to go all the way.
The best batsman right now in Indian domestic cricket is with RCB – Devdutt Padikkal has been in scintillating form this season in the SMAT and VHT tournaments. A flamboyant free-flowing left hander at the top of the order to effectively utilize the powerplay restrictions is exactly what RCB needs.
The purchase of Chris Morris may have just boosted two key areas namely finishing with the ball and finishing with the bat. Morris can bowl his 4 overs between overs 10 and 20 as he is an experienced end overs bowler with a repertoire of good slower balls and an ability to bowl yorkers at will. We have already seen his big hitting ability for the Delhi franchise.
Shivam Dubey having played and performed well for the Indian team recently, is filled with good amount of confidence. So he will be more effective this season than the previous one.
Dale Steyn and Kane Richardson – We witnessed a resurgence of RCB towards the end of the last IPL season. This was due to the inclusion of Steyn in the latter matches. Steyn is not just a great bowler but also a great leader for the bowling attack. If he stays fit for most part of the tournament, I wouldn’t be surprised to see RCB be among the best bowling line ups of the tournament. Richardson is doing well in the BBL so far and is a good back up for Steyn.
Josh Phillippe is one of the bargain buys of this season. A good keeper batsman with a strike rate of over 150, whose playing style is relatively unknown to many international bowlers, might be the one to get RCB off to a great start.
Two possible likely playing XIs for RCB would be:
Devdutt, Josh, Virat, AB, Deshpande, Dubey, Morris, Sunder, Steyn, Saini, Chahal
Devdutt, Parthiv, Virat, Finch, AB, Dubey, Morris, Sunder, Steyn, Saini, Chahal
The bowling strategy: Sundar, Steyn and Saini in the powerplay. Chahal and Dubey in the middle overs. Morris and Steyn to finish the innings.
Hopefully this year will be a better one for RCB.
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