IPL 2022: Royal Challengers Bangalore best predicted 11 and team analysis

No AB de Villiers and neither is Virat Kohli captain. So under Faf du Plessis in IPL 2022 a new era for Royal Challengers Bangalore begins!

IPL 2022 Virat Kohli
Kohli is no more the captain but still a key player in IPL 2022

It will be strange to watch Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2022. Virat Kohli will still be wearing red. But that is about it in terms of familiarity for the franchise. After what feels like an era, RCB will not have Kohli walking out for a toss. And leading them into this new phase will be IPL veteran Faf du Plessis.

The South African was officially announced captain of the franchise on 12th March. That rested months of speculation as to who would helm the team in the post-Kohli era. Other names floated and rumoured to lead prior to the announcement included Dinesh Karthik, who was acquired in the IPL 2022 mega auction and retained Glenn Maxwell. RCB retained three out of the full quota of four players. Apart from Maxwell and Kohli, the other retained player was Mohammed Siraj.

A large chunk of the RCB faithful clamoured for the return of Kohli for the captaincy role after a chain of events eventuated with him not leading India in any format of international cricket. However, having moved on to a new phase in his cricket career, it was only right for him to enjoy without the added responsibility.

IPL 2022 – RCB team analysis

TAD vs BT Dream11
Faf du Plessis will now captain Royal Challengers Bangalore

Among the multiple changes at RCB is the retirement of their star player AB de Villiers. A bona fide legend of the game and an elite IPL player, de Villiers managed to transcend franchise loyalties. And there would be no ground in the world where his chants did not reverberate as he pirouetted one way and then the other to sweep, ramp and even reverse sweep the fastest bowlers in the game.

It is safe to say that void will never be filled. RCB will now have to come together as a group and make up for the genius of the now retired. In fact, the team’s bowling – an Achilles heel for so long –looks the stronger suit for RCB in IPL 2022.

Siraj is among the top Indian seamers currently and he will open the bowling. Metronomic Australian quick Josh Hazlewood is most likely to share the new ball with Siraj. Hazlewood has not always been a natural T20 player, however there was a marked improvement in his IPL performances last season as he helped CSK win the title.

Harshal Patel, not retained to give him an opportunity to earn more money in the auction, is also back at RCB. Last season’s Purple Cap winner will be a key bowler for RCB given he is the most natural death bowler in the unit.

While Harshal was bought back in the IPL 2022 mega auction, leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was not. Consequently, RCB’s lead spinner will be Sri Lankan all rounder Wanindu Hasaranga. The leggie is one among a host of all rounders in the franchise‘s ranks. Shahbaz Ahmed and Mahipal Lomror are the other multi faceted players who are likely to start.

Shahbaz is having a superb season for Bengal in the Ranji trophy with successive player of the match performances in the opening two games of the season.

The main conundrum for RCB will be that number 3 position if Kohli does indeed decide to open. Skipper Faf will most likely open and Maxwell may be pushed to number 4 to protect the slight weakness. The Aussie is also among the more regular part timers with his handy off spin giving RCB plenty of bowling options and variety.

Dinesh Karthik will keep wickets and be assigned the finisher’s role. Anuj Rawat, bought for INR 3.4 crore, is another wicketkeeping option and will likely bat at 3 in IPL 2022.

While RCB do not have too many backups in the batting department, there are many bowlers and all rounders in their ranks. The likes of Karn Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Jason Behrendorff, Sherfane Rutherford, and David Willey can all be called upon.

IPL 2022 – RCB predicted team 11

Harshal Patel dc
Harshal Patel won the Purple Cap in IPL 2021

Faf du Plessis (C), Virat Kohli, Anuj Rawat, Glenn Maxwell, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Mahipal Lomror, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Josh Hazlewood, Mohammad Siraj.