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Indian Premier League 2021

IPL 2021: Five game-changers to galvanise RCB's campaign

Usual suspects aside, here are the players who can change RCB's fortune in IPL 2021.

IPL 2021: Five game-changers to galvanise RCBs campaign
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With international experience behind him, Washington Sundar will have a huge role to play in RCB's campaign this year (Source: Firstpost)

By

Rashi Bhattacharyya

Published: 8 April 2021 10:02 AM GMT

Since the beginning of the Indian Premier League, Royal Challengers Bangalore have featured the biggest stars of the cricketing world and have maintained a high brand value due to their loyal fanbase.

Despite all this, the team has failed to achieve titular glory.

From their over-dependency on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to their inability to draw the winning cards after reaching the finals on three separate occasions, there are many reasons why RCB keep failing year after year.

In order to break the proverbial jinx, the franchise will have to rely on the entire squad, especially the following who have the potential to emerge as the game-changers in IPL 2021.

#5 Kyle Jamieson


RCB broke the bank to acquire New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson for INR.15 crores during IPL 2021 auction.

Therefore, the team management will keep their fingers crossed that their hefty investment pays dividends.

Known for his powerful inswinger and ability to score quick runs at the lower order, the bowling all-rounder became the Kiwi squad's mainstay following his phenomenal international debut against India.

He kept up his good form until the beginning of this year when he claimed 11 wickets against Pakistan in the longest format of the game.

However, he failed to maintain his glorious run in the following fixtures against Australia and Bangladesh.

That said, given his solid domestic record, especially in T20 leagues like the Super Smash, RCB will put their faith in the exceptionally gifted Kiwi.

Although he doesn't have much overseas experience, guidance from compatriot and RCB's head coach Mike Hesson and experienced T20 specialists like Kohli and ABD could well shape him into a match-winner.

#4 Devdutt Padikkal


As RCB's breakout star in IPL 2020, Devdutt Padikkal will shoulder much bigger responsibilities this time around.

Last year, the southpaw scored 473 runs at an average of 31.53 and became the leading run-scorer for RCB despite the presence of Kohli and ABD in the line-up.
Following a spectacular season at the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he emerged as the tournament's second-highest run-scorer with 737 runs, the 20-year-old is ready to reprise his role as the team's hard-hitting opener.
After testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of IPL 2021, his appearance in Bangalore's first few fixtures was doubtful.
But, following two negative RT-PCR tests, Padikkal has joined the RCB camp and is raring to go.

#3 Mohammed Azharuddeen


Bought at his base price of INR. 20 lakhs, Mohammed Azharuddeen is a fantastic new addition to the RCB contingent.

After spending half a dozen years in the domestic circuit, the
'other Azhar'
is ready for his IPL debut.
While the presence of star batsmen in the team might reduce his chances to play in the upcoming fixtures, his recent exploits in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy should get him some matches.
His epic 137* from 54 balls against Mumbai during SMAT 2020-21 is a testament to Azharuddeen's tremendous talent in the T20 format.
The Kerela opener is also an excellent wicket-keeper and might be a great backup to de Villiers since KS Bharat is the only other wicket-keeper in the squad.
If he is given the opportunity, Azharuddeen can surely make it count.

#2 Washington Sundar


The 21-year-old all-rounder is one of India's rising superstars.

After making his IPL debut at the age of 17 with Rising Pune Supergiants and playing a pivotal role in the team's journey to the finale, Sundar joined RCB for the next season.

Sundar has played his role with bat and ball superbly for the Red and Gold army as well as the Men in Blue.
Following his heroic red-ball debut during India's historic win against Australia and promising performances against England, Sundar is set to take on the IPL challenge.
Whether it was his bowling partnership with Yuzvendra Chahal or the impressive economy of 5.96, Sundar was a crucial part of RCB's spin attack in IPL 2020.
This time around, he will take the same role and additionally try to show some magic with his bat as well given his current form.

#1 Glenn Maxwell


Glenn Maxwell is undoubtedly one of the greatest all-rounders in the world.

But the big-hitter has failed to perform in the IPL in the past few years.

He has breached the '200 runs in a season' barrier just twice in his now eight-year IPL career.

Despite his low returns, Maxwell has stayed a hot property in all the auctions due to his performances for Australia and in the Big Bash League.

This time too, Maxwell managed to start a bidding war during the IPL 2021 auction and was acquired by RCB for INR 14.25 crore.

To justify this insane amount, the Australian all-rounder will have to step up and perform with both bat and ball.

Perhaps playing with his idol de Villiers will instil more confidence in the cricketer and result in a run-fest.

Along with these gentlemen, RCB can count on the ever-reliable duo of Kohli and ABD along with in-form new additions like Dan Christian, Finn Allen, and Rajat Patidar for some game-changing performances.

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