Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore is one of the teams that is yet to win an Indian Premier League (IPL) title. After losing the final in 2016, the team had struggled to make it to the playoffs in following seasons until last year when they finished fourth in league stage. However, they were ultimately knocked out after losing the eliminator.
Then came the 14th edition when Kohli’s red brigade kicked off the tournament in style. Unlike the previous editions, the unit looked entirely different in terms of performance. Before the cancellation of the league due to a Covid outbreak in its bio-bubble, RCB had won 5 out 7 games and are comfortably placed at third position on the points table.
The second phase of IPL 2021 is a few days away while Kohli & Co would look to start afresh and aim for their maiden title. Former KKR captain Gautam Gambhir believes that RCB has several big-ticket players who can dominate the opposition.
In a conversation with Star Sports network, Gambhir said, “He’s (Virat) got people like AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell, which is a huge cushion to have. Even if it’s not Maxwell, AB is a massive cushion because there is only one person who can take on someone like Jasprit Bumrah and it was AB de Villiers. I have not seen anyone else who has done that consistently against Bumrah, but AB is a freak.”
Gambhir, who will be a part of Hindi commentary panel for the UAE leg of IPL 2021, further highlighted the amount pressure on Kohli and De Villiers as they will definitely root for title triumph.
“But yes obviously, from Virat’s standard they would want to go out and dominate the opposition, especially in the IPL. There’s international cricket where you’ve got 5 or 6 top international bowlers, you don’t have that in the IPL.
“You probably get 2 or 3 international bowlers and then you’ve got domestic bowlers as well, whom you could dominate. So, probably there’s a lot of pressure on Virat and AB as well, which could be one of the reasons and year after year, if you don’t win that title the pressure keeps on increasing as well,” Gambhir told Star Sports.
The remainder of the IPL 2021 will begin from September 19 in Dubai. RCB will start their campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders on the next day – September 20 – in Abu Dhabi.