RCB’s campaign in this year’s IPL might have been over, but they are one of the most entertaining franchises in the league. In spite of not having won the title in twelve editions, it has a huge fan base due to the brand of cricket it plays.
The first season didn’t go as expected with just four wins as opposed to ten losses putting them 7th in the points table. This meant that the team was looking for a comeback in the second edition of the tournament. In the auctions, Kevin Pietersen was bought for a record price of 1.55 million USD with local boys Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey joining the squad. Pietersen failed to live up to the expectations as the team won just two out of the first six games.
After Pietersen left to play for England, the team’s fortunes improved as they qualified for the knock-outs with six wins in the remaining eight games under Anil Kumble’s captaincy. In the semis, they thrashed CSK by 5 wickets to make the final where they faced Deccan Chargers.
They bowled excellently restricting the opposition to just 143. However, the team struggled to chase this and eventually lost by six runs. No matter what the result was, RCB’s comeback was the talking point of the season. Let us look at what each player from that squad who was a part of 2009 IPL final doing now.
#1 Jacques Kallis, Manish Pandey and Roelof van der Merwe
Jacques Kallis was an asset to RCB as far as all-round performance was concerned. Kallis wore the red jersey in the first three editions scoring 1172 runs in 42 matches which included ten fifties. He also bowled well taking 23 wickets in the same period. In the 2011 auctions, he was sold to 2011 where he had a couple of good seasons. After retiring from all forms of cricket, he has been the coach of KKR since 2015.
Meanwhile, Manish Pandey played for Mumbai in 2008 and was taken into RCB for the second season. His ton against Deccan Chargers was the first by an Indian in IPL. He played a key role in RCB’s success in 2009 and 2010. His success led him to represent India in ODIs as well as T20Is. As of now, he is captaining the Karnataka team in the domestic circuit besides playing for SRH in the IPL.
Coming in at number three is Roelof van der Merwe, who was known for cameos with the bat along with left-arm orthodox spin bowling. He striked at about 125 and took nine wickets in ten matches that he played. He was part of the RCB for another edition besides representing South Africa in a couple of limited over matches.
Because of limited opportunities, he gained Dutch passport and started representing Netherlands in T20Is. He played his most recent T20 against Ireland in February 2019. He is also seen playing for Somerset in the English county circuit.
#2 Rahul Dravid and Ross Taylor
‘The Wall’ of Indian cricket led RCB in the inaugural season as the icon player but was soon criticized as the team finished in 7th position. The 2009 season saw Rahul Dravid making vital contribution to the team with the bat that led RCB to the final.
He then moved to Rajasthan Royals in 2011 and played until 2013 for RR. He was then appointed as the coach for the team where he was instrumental in picking talented youngsters for the squad. He is currently the head coach for U-19 and India ‘A’ teams. His efforts won the U-19 World Cup for India in 2018.
On the other hand, Ross Taylor played for RCB from 2008 to 2010. He played a key role in winning matches for RCB whenever it was in deep trouble. He has been a part of a number of leagues and has been the New Zealand’s number four batsman for quite a long period. He is travelling to England to play the ICC World Cup 2019.
#3 Virat Kohli and Mark Boucher
Virat Kohli has been an integral part of RCB right from its inception. Having represented the franchise in 177 matches, he has scored 5412 runs at an average of 37.84 with five hundreds to his name. He is the only player to have played for RCB in all twelve seasons. He has grown from an angry lad to the greatest batsman of this era.
He has dominated every format of the game and has numerous records to his name. He is leading the Indian contingent for the 2019 World Cup in England.
On the other hand, Mark Boucher who is considered to be one of the greatest wicket-keepers of all time contributed for RCB’s performance in 2009. But things didn’t go his way as he suffered an eye-injury in July 2012 while keeping without any protection that ended his illustrious career.
He is now the mentor for the Titans team who play in domestic T20 tournaments in South Africa.
#4 Robin Uthappa and Praveen Kumar
Robin Uthappa has been one of the most consistent performers in the league history. He played for Mumbai in 2008 and was taken into RCB by swapping him for Zaheer Khan in the auctions. He spent the next two seasons strengthening the middle order of the team. He then played for Pune Warriors where he enjoyed success as an individual.
His potential to win matches single-handedly impressed the KKR camp who bought him in the 2014 auctions. From then on until now, he has played over 70 matches contributing to over 2000 runs for the team.
Many know that Praveen Kumar was key to India’s success in the CB series against Australia, but few remember his contribution to RCB in the first three seasons. His variations and accuracy got him wickets. He went on to play for Kings XI Punjab (2011-13), Mumbai Indians (2014), Sunrisers Hyderabad (2015) and Gujarat Lions (2016-17).
Due to ageing and drop in form, he decided to retire from all forms of cricket in October 2018.
#5 Vinay Kumar and Anil Kumble
The Ranji superstar from Karnataka played for RCB in five seasons (2008-10, 2012-13) picking up more than 70 wickets in the period. Apart from this, Vinay Kumar enjoyed successful stints as captain of the Karnataka Ranji Team winning two consecutive Ranji Trophies in 2014 and 2015.
He has also played for Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders where he enjoyed limited success. Even after not playing IPL, he has continued to represent the state in the domestic tournaments.
If RCB made a comeback in 2009, it was mainly due to the efforts of Anil Kumble as captain. He led from the front taking 21 wickets at an economy of 5.86 with best figures of 5/5. He played his last IPL in 2010 finishing with 45 wickets in 42 matches.
From then on, he has held a lot of respectable positions. He was the president of the KSCA for a brief period after which he was appointed as the chairman of ICC Cricket Committee. He was also the head coach of the Indian team for a year.
In the recent past, he is seen in media as a cricket analyst as well as a commentator. In March 2019, he was re-appointed as the chairman of ICC Cricket Committee for a final term.