Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra believes Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would not make the playoffs in the 2022 Indian Premier League season (IPL 2022).
On Friday, the cricketer-turned-commentator made these statements on his YouTube channel. While Chopra believes Bangalore has a chance to prove him wrong by reaching the top four after the league stage, he believes they will fall short.
If there is one thing that everyone is waiting for right now, it has to be RCB’s elusive IPL title. Every year, there is a ray of hope among the club’s devoted supporters.
RCB have been fantastic in the league over the last two years, but the Virat Kohli-led team has been eliminated in the playoffs by Sunrisers Hyderabad (in 2020) and Kolkata Knight Riders (in 2021).
The hiring of South African player Faf du Plessis as the team’s new captain may peg fans’ expectations for a cup.
Chopra, who has played seven IPL matches for KKR and RR, believes that RCB will not go to the knockout stage.
Aakash Chopra on the Royal Challengers Bangalore
“I’d say that RCB may not qualify this year. This is what I feel and I could be completely wrong. They may still make it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t,” Chopra said.
Despite the additions of Dinesh Karthik and Mahipal Lomror, the 44-year-old pointed out that RCB’s lower middle-order still lacks potency. He also said that instead of spending a lot of money on Wanindu Hasaranga (10.75 crores), they could have looked at Rahul Chahar and Yuzendra Chahal at the auction last month.
“RCB have Faf at the top with DK and Mahipal Lomror down the order. They spent a lot of money on Hasaranga. I was surprised that did not look at someone like Rahul Chahar and Yuzvendra Chahal. The lower middle-order woes that were there before are still there,” Chopra added.
For this year’s cash-rich competition, Bangalore has named veteran batsman Faf du Plessis as their captain. They will play the Punjab Kings at the DY Patil Stadium on March 27 to kick off their IPL 2022 season.
“Speaking of their pain points, Glenn Maxwell has a good season once in five years. He could also have back-to-back good seasons too, there’s no doubt about that too. But there is still a volatile environment when Maxwell is around because he is a high-risk player,” Chopra concluded.