Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore finished fourth in 2020. RCB ended the tournament with five losses on the trot. This year, it signed Glenn Maxwell for ₹14.25 crore. The Australian power-hitter was RCB’s highest run-getter at the halfway stage, and seemed to be sharing the batting workload with Kohli and AB de Villiers. If Kohli, de Villiers and Maxwell play true to form and class, RCB could well go all the way this year. Here’s how they stack up ahead of the second leg of IPL 2021.

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Harshal Patel, the holder of the purple cap with 17 wickets, was one of the finds of the current season. RCB has relied on him to deliver at the death, and Patel, with his variations, discipline and confidence, hasn’t disappointed. Among the batsmen, opener Devdutt Padikkal’s aggressive stroke-play helped him become only the fourth uncapped player to score a century in the IPL. Padikkal’s flamboyance combined with Kohli’s finesse, Maxwell and de Villiers’ power has kept RCB in contention for a playoff spot. The addition of legspin-bowling all-rounder Hasaranga has strengthened its spin reserve, which already includes Indian leggie, Yuzvendra Chahal. Hasaranga made heads turn when India went to Sri Lanka in July for a limited-overs series, with a three-wicket haul in the second ODI, and seven wickets to top the bowling charts in the three T20Is. With some pitches in the UAE likely to show signs of slowing down as the business end approaches, Hasaranga might emerge as the trump card for the Bengaluru outfit.

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RCB has also seen a change in the coaching staff, with former Australian batsman Simon Katich stepping down as head coach, and Mike Hesson, currently the director of cricket operations, filling in for Katich.