IPL History: All-time best RCB XI

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RCB - 2016 ( Image Courtesy: BCCI/IPLT20.com)

RCB is arguably the best franchise to have never won the IPL. The franchise based in Bangalore has reached the final on three occasions but has never lifted the coveted trophy. The franchise has one of the biggest fanbases in cricket.

This huge fan following is partly due to the fact that some of the legends of the game have represented them in the past. Even today, RCB has some start names like AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, and Moeen Ali in the team. It is almost impossible to compile the list of all the great players who have represented RCB in the 12 seasons of the IPL.

In this article, we attempt to make the best possible XI among the best current and past players to have represented this franchise. We have followed the IPL's rule of just four foreigners in the team. So let us take a look at the best RCB XI of all time.

Openers: KL Rahul and Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle

KL Rahul has taken his game to another level at Kings XI Punjab but we should not forget the franchise where he made his first mark. The dashing opening batsman scored four fifties in his short IPL career with the franchise based in Bangalore.

Chris Gayle is one of the greatest batsmen in the history of T20 cricket. The left-hander is one of the legends of the Indian Premier League. The 'Universal Boss' was fantastic for RCB as he scored five centuries in his spell at RCB.

He scored 3163 runs at an average of 43.33 and an incredible strike rate of more than 150. Gayle broke the record of the highest score in IPL when he scored 175 against Pune Warriors. Currently, both of them are opening the innings for KXIP and they are doing a brilliant job.

Middle Order: Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers

AB De Villiers and Virat Kohli - ( Image Courtesy: BCCI/IPLT20.com)

Surely, there can't be a better pairing at No. 3 and No. 4 than these two. Having these two in the same team is like having both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the same team.

Virat Kohli is arguably the greatest batsman of this generation and he has been very loyal to the franchise. He is the only player to have played in all 12 seasons of IPL for the same franchise. The Indian superstar has scored five centuries and 36 half-centuries in his IPL career. The right-handed batsman has scored more than 5000 runs at a healthy strike rate of more than 130.

There is a reason that AB de Villiers has a huge fan following even in India. ABD is almost impossible to contain as he can score runs all around the park. His strike rate of almost 160 for RCB is a testament to his destructive ability. He can do everything on the cricket ground including wicket-keeping so he should be the wicket-keeper in this XI.

All-rounders: Jacques Kallis, Moeen Ali, and Kedar Jadhav

Jacques Kallis ( Image Courtesy: BCCI/IPLT20.com)

Jacques Kallis is one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of the game. Our XI has a lot of power-hitters so a batsman like Kallis who can hold the innings together can be an asset. He also helps the balance of any team as you can always trust him to deliver some solid overs.

Moeen Ali has been fantastic in this season of the IPL. While this has been a poor season for RCB, the English all-rounder has been very good. The left-handed batsman has scored runs at a strike-rate of more than 168 this season. The off-spinner has also contributed with the ball by picking five wickets.

Kedar Jadhav is a great utility player. The right-handed batsman can move the innings forward by hitting some big shots. His round arm bowling action makes it difficult for the batsmen to pick him.

Spinners: Anil Kumble and Yuzvendra Chahal

Anil Kumble ( Image Courtesy: BCCI/IPLT20.com)

Some fans might have forgotten but Anil Kumble played a huge role in the initial success of the franchise. The legendary leg-spinner spent three years at the franchise picking 45 wickets in 42 matches. His figures of 5/5 are still the best bowling figures for an Indian bowler in the IPL.

His role as the captain can't be underestimated. After taking over as captain in the mid-season in 2009, Kumble turned RCB's fortunes as he led the team to the final of the tournament. This is why we have selected him as the captain of this XI.

The other spinner in the team is Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg-spinner has been the shining light in the last few bad seasons for the RCB. He has picked 96 wickets in the 79 matches for the franchise and he thoroughly deserves his place in the XI.

Fast bowlers: Vinay Kumar and Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan ( Image Courtesy: BCCI/IPLT20.com)

There are fans who might be surprised by the inclusion of Vinay Kumar. While right-arm fast bowler gets trolled for a few of his performances, it shouldn't take away the fact that he was a great servant for RCB. The Karnataka cricketer featured in 64 IPL matches for the franchise, picking 72 wickets in the process.

Zaheer Khan was arguably the greatest Indian fast bowler of his generation. The left-arm pacer has a great record in all formats of the game. While he didn't play many T20Is, he had a good record in the IPL.

The legendary pacer had represented RCB in two different spells and he did reasonably well in both spells. Zaheer picked 49 wickets in 44 matches for the franchise at an economy of less than eight. Considering that RCB plays most of their cricket in the Chinnaswamy Stadium which is a graveyard for bowlers, this is not a bad record at all.