The 12th season of world's biggest T20 extravaganza IPL is around the corner and is set to kick off on March 23.
Royal Challengers Bangalore is one of the few teams who have never got their hands on the IPL trophy. They will therefore be desperate to win the title this time around. Their squad is looking quite strong for the upcoming season.
Their all-rounders will be their biggest strength this season as they have some quality T20 all-rounders like Marcus Stoinis, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube and Pawan Negi in their squad.
The team led by Virat Kohli will be looking forward to winning their maiden IPL title this time. Here is a look at three RCB players to watch out for in the upcoming edition of IPL.
#3 Marcus Stoinis
Marcus Stoinis is currently the best all-rounder for Australia in limited overs' cricket. RCB obtained Marcus Stoinis from Kings XI Punjab during IPL's trade window. The addition of Marcus Stoinis to the RCB squad will surely strengthen their batting and bowling. The 29-year-old will play a key role for RCB in IPL 2019.
As far as Marcus Stoinis' IPL numbers are concerned, they are not impressive at all. He has scored just 262 runs from 19 matches at an average of 23.81 and strike rate of 125.96 and has picked 13 wickets at an average of 32.61 and an economy rate of 9.52.
The Aussie all-rounder is in red hot form in the ongoing Big-Bash League and has scored 427 runs from 10 matches at an excellent average of 63.14 and strike rate of 135.17. He has also picked 14 wickets at an impressive average of 14.07. RCB will expect Stoinis to continue his form in IPL as well.
It will be fascinating to see if Marcus Stoinis will be able to turn things around for RCB in the upcoming edition of IPL.
#2 Shimron Hetmyer
One of the emerging young talents from West Indies, Shimron Hetmyer is an explosive left-hand batsman who will be playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2019. Hetmyer first came into limelight when he led the West Indies U-19 team to their maiden World Cup title in 2016. A year after the U-19 World Cup 2016, he made his debut for the West Indies team.
The Caribbean Premier League 2018 proved to be a breakthrough tournament for Shimron Hetmyer as he performed really well in the T20 league. The Guyanese batsmen scored a total of 440 runs from 12 matches at a very good average of 40.00 and strike rate of 148.14 with 1 century and 2 half-centuries. He ended the CPL 2018 as the third leading run scorer of the tournament.
So far, the 22-year-old has played 21 T20s and has scored 517 runs from them at a healthy strike rate of 142.42.
The left-handed batsman will surely want to make a mark in the upcoming season of IPL by performing well for RCB. It will be quite engrossing to see if Shimron Hetmyer is able to live up to expectations.
#1 AB de Villiers
The Superman of cricket, AB de Villiers will be one of RCB's most important players in IPL 2019 as he is someone who can single-handedly win matches for them.
The 34-year-old was in his prime form in the previous season of IPL as he scored 480 runs from 12 matches at an excellent average of 53.33 and strike rate of 174.54. RCB will want him to repeat the same in this season as well.
AB de Villiers' overall IPL numbers are just amazing. In his IPL career, he has scored 3953 runs from 129 innings at an average of 39.53 and strike rate of 150.94 with 133 being his highest score. Meanwhile, he has hit 28 fifties and 3 centuries.
After bidding goodbye to the international cricket, Mr 360 degree was recently seen playing in the Bangladesh Premier League for Rangpur Riders. He was in very good form in the tournament as he scored 247 runs from just 6 matches at an astonishing average of 61.75 and strike rate of 168.02. He also scored an unbeaten hundred. He will surely want to carry on his form in IPL 2019 as well.
It will be interesting to watch how AB de Villiers performs in IPL 2019 post his international retirement.