IPL team preview: Royal Challengers Bangalore

Every year we get all excited about RCB, because of their batting line up. Then, every year, Chris Gayle wins the orange cap, but the team doesn't do enough as a whole, or with the ball, to advance.

<b>Captain</b>: Virat Kohli<br><b>Coach</b>: Dan Vettori<br><b>IPL Best</b>: Runner-up (2009, 2011)<br><b>Cricket365 prediction:</b> Losing finalist

<b>Overview</b><br>This team has the sexiest batting line up of all the squads in the IPL. Maybe even the world. Gayle, AB, Kohli, Yuvraj (ignore his WT20 final knock), Albie, etc. Amazingly, they've had the first three of those names for ages, and they have not yet combined to create a winning side. But with Yuvraj, the most expensive signing at the auction, added, maybe that will change this year. The bowling attack isn't as strong as they'd like, and the pressure will be on the fragile Mitchell Starc to do a lot of the damage.

<b>Key Batsman</b><br>The obvious choice would be Chris Gayle, but Virat Kohli's form in recent T20 matches makes him the better pick. Kohli was the top run-getter during the World Twenty20, scoring four half centuries, though his knock in the final wasn't enough to get his side the title. If RCB chase, they are almost guaranteed a big knock from him, as he averages over 80 when his side knows what they need to win.

<b>Key Bowler</b><br>Their best bowler in 2013 was R Vinay Kumar, taking 23 wickets at an average just over 21. He was streets ahead of his side's next best, Ravi Rampaul, but the West Indian will need to step up now as Kumar is no longer in the side and was sold to Kolkata. Rampaul is probably the best bet in this category, as he doesn't tend to get injured, takes wickets, and will be a good foil for the veteran Murali.

<b>Likely Benchwarmer</b><br>With AB de Villiers the front line keeper, and then Parthiv Patel next in line, it's unlikely Yogesh Takawale will get many games. He's not played much cricket this year either.

<b>They Said</b>: Highest-paid IPL signing Yuvraj Singh: "Everyone's talking about my being the highest-paid player and being bought for so much at an auction, that also means that there is a lot of focus on you and on how you have to win matches, it adds responsibility. In RCB, we've got a lot of guys who are match winners on their own – Gayle, AB, Virat, Albie [Morkel], Rampaul can just take games away single-handed. It's a brilliant bunch, it is great that in that kind of environment, I can go and express myself."

<b>Squad</b>: Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Parthiv Patel, Vijay Zol, Varun Aaron, Ashok Dinda, An Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Shadab Jakati, Sandeep Warrier, Tanmay Mishra, Yogesh Takawale, Sachin Rana, Yuzvendra Chahal, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ravi Rampaul, Albie Morkel, Mitchell Starc, Nic Maddinson.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>Thu Apr 17 Delhi Daredevils v Royal Challengers Bangalore<br>Sat Apr 19 Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians<br>Thu Apr 24 Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders<br>Sat Apr 26 Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore<br>Mon Apr 28 Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers Bangalore<br>Sun May 4 Royal Challengers Bangalore v Sunrisers Hyderabad<br>Tue May 6 Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers Bangalore<br>Fri May 9 Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kings XI Punjab<br>Sun May 11 Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals<br>Tue May 13 Royal Challengers Bangalore v Delhi Daredevils<br>Sun May 18 Chennai Super Kings v Royal Challengers Bangalore<br>Tue May 20 Sunrisers Hyderabad v Royal Challengers Bangalore<br>Thu May 22 Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore<br>Sat May 24 Royal Challengers Bangalore v Chennai Super Kings