The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is one of the three teams that has competed in every edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and are all set for another gruelling season ahead.
However, while Bangalore have always boasted of a star-studded batting line-up, they have not managed to win the tournament yet. And the start to the current edition hasn’t been great either with the team only managing to win one out of the four matches played so far.
RCB’s major issue in this tournament has been its bowling. The bowling unit has conceded a whopping 761 runs from the 79.2 overs they have bowled so far in the IPL which includes the two highest scores of this season (217 and 213).
Irrespective of the team’s results, if there has been one constant in the team since 2011, it is the presence of the two batting stalwarts, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
Speaking about Virat Kohli, RCB’s batting talent development and fielding coach Trent Woodhill termed him as someone who is less likely to make mistakes due to his mental and physical fitness. Woodhill, in conversation with Wisden India, said, “He’s the most impressive sportsman I’ve had the pleasure to work with – in any sport. He’s in the same stratosphere as Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Messi. His approach to his own cricketing career and everything involved around it is extremely professional. It’s really a pleasure to work with. He’s definitely fitter than he’s ever been. What that allows you to do is under pressure, you’re able to replicate technique and replicate movement patterns. So, he’s less likely than others to play a lazy shot or not execute the way he’d like because his fitness and his mind is so sharp.”
On de Villiers’ ability to strike the ball cleanly, Woodhill said, “I first met AB in 2009 when I was at Delhi, and he trains smarter than anybody I’ve worked with. He’s mastered the art of replicating what he needs to do in a period of time in training to be able to move on. In Kohli and AB, you’ve got the Nadal and Federer of the cricket world. It’s tough to pick who is the best of them. AB and Federer share a similar DNA I think, and the same with Nadal and Kohli. The point’s never dead for Nadal, and the point’s never dead for Virat. And AB, he finds a way as Federer does, in conditions where others struggle.” Interestingly, Kohli is a Federer fan while De Villiers prefers the Spaniard.
RCB’s next game is on Saturday against the Delhi Daredevils in a match that will pit the two teams at the bottom of the table right now. RCB and its fans will certainly be hoping that their star duo of Kohli and De Villiers can put them back on track with a win before qualifications for the knockouts start.