IPL titles: 0
Royal Challengers Bangalore have been the dragons without fire over the years. Season after season, they boast of a formidable team, consisting of world-beaters, especially in the batting line-up. Most of the time, however, they have disappointed. In the last four years, they have finished last twice. Overall they have ended up runners-up in three seasons but apart from that, they have made it to the Playoffs/Semis just thrice.
Here's how they have fared year on year
How did they fare the previous season: After a disastrous season where they finished last (8th) for the second time in three years in 2019, they showed some promise in the 13th edition of the IPL in 2020. It was a roller-coaster season though for them as they finished in top-four but then lost to SRH in the Eliminator after an underwhelming batting display in Abu Dhabi.
Win Percentage: RCB possess third-lowest win percentage of all teams (for teams to have played more than 100 matches) – 47.13 and is one of only three teams who have lost more than they have won. Of the 196 matches played, they have won 80 and lost 100 with four ending in no result.
Highest Run-getter: Virat Kohli
RCB have the best batsman in the world in their line-up. He is also the top run-getter in the league with 5878 runs from 184 innings at 38.16. He has scored five tons, the most in the league and the joint second-most number of 50-plus scores – 44.
Highest wicket-taker: Yuzvendra Chahal
Chahal has been the backbone of the RCB bowling line-up which has struggled over the years. In his seven years at the franchise, he's picked up 121 wickets from 97 innings at 22.22. He's possessed an impressive economy rate of 7.66 and a strike rate of 17.4 and has two four-fers to his name.
Highest individual score: Chris Gayle 175 not out vs Pune Warriors at Bengaluru in 2013
23 April 2013 was the day the Universe Boss went berserk and clobbered the Pune bowlers all over the part at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. He was unstoppable that day as he hammered 13 fours and 17 sixes on his way to 175 not out off 66 balls. He propelled RCB to 263/5 and then the team restricted Pune to 133/9 to win the match by 130 runs. Gayle's 175 not out still stands as the highest individual score in the league.
Highest team score: The Gayle Storm that hit Pune Warriros was also the day RCB registered their highest total in the league – 263/5. Gayle also ended up getting two wickets in the match going with his unbeaten 175.
Favourite opponent: Delhi Capitals
Delhi are the only side against whom RCB have won more than they have lost (For teams against whom RCB has played 10 or more matches). They have won 13 of their 25 matches and lost 10 with a win percentage of 56.25 percent.
Bogey team: Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians have had the wood over RCB winning 17 of the 27 matches and losing nine. RCB, with 35.18 percent against MI, have their lowest win percentage against any team (For teams against whom RCB has played 10 or more matches)
When they played in the UAE: In the 2014 edition, RCB started off in style with two thumping wins in first two games. But then lost their way losing the next three to make it two wins and three losses from five matches in the UAE leg. In 2020, they made it to the playoffs finishing fourth in the table but lost in the Eliminator.
Lesser known facts:
Purchases, releases and squad
IPL 2021 auctions players bought: Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharrudeen, Kyle Jamieson, Daniel Christian, KS Bharat, Suyash Prabhudesai
IPL 2021 players traded in: Daniel Sams and Harshal Patel from Delhi Capitals
IPL 2021 retained players: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Md Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Joshua Phillipe, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmed, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson
Released players: Chris Morris, Shivam Dube, Aaron Finch, Umesh Yadav, Dale Steyn, Moeen Ali, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Isuru Udana, Gurkeerat Mann.
Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Josh Philippe, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pavan Deshpande, Kyle Jamieson, Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Suyash Prabhudesai, KS Bharat
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Devdutt Padikkal contracted coronavirus on 22 March and was in isolation, but has since completely recovered and resumed practice with his RCB teammates.
Harshal Patel said he had to deal with a lot of performance-related anxiety due to the ruthless nature of the IPL,
The opening encounter will be between defending champions Mumbai Indians and under-achievers Royal Challengers Bangalore here and the big-hitters on both sides will ensure that necessary fireworks will be there even if fans are absent from the stands thanks to the pandemic.