Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are yet to win the coveted Indian Premier League title, once again look solid on paper ahead of the 12th season of world's biggest T20 extravaganza. In a bid to end their title drought in the upcoming season, the perennial underachievers retained a vast majority of the team's core ahead of the 2019 Auction in Jaipur in December last year. The IPL franchise, who finished sixth in the 2018 edition, chose to retain the experienced candidates including captain Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Umesh Yadav. However, RCB's biggest strength in the upcoming season lies in their all-rounders.
Here is a look at five RCB players to watch out for in the upcoming edition of IPL.
1. Marcus Stoinis
Royal Challengers Bangalore traded middle-order batsman Mandeep Singh to Kings XI Punjab for Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis during the transfer window.
Marcus Stoinis, Australia's men's One-day International Player of the Year 2019, was in a red hot form with both bat and ball for his franchise Melbourne Stars in the recently-concluded season of the Big Bash League.
RCB will expect Stoinis to replicate his BBL form in IPL as the 29-year-old's numbers in the Indian T20 league are not so impressive.
The Western Australian 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.
2. Shimron Hetmyer
Royal Challengers Bangalore have always been a top-heavy side with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in their ranks. However, the presence of Shimron Hetmyer can give RCB's batting line-up the much-needed X-factor.
Hetmyer shot into the Indian mind space with some brutal hitting during the ODI series against India in October 2018. The Windies batsman smashed 106 off 78 balls and 94 off 64 balls in back-to-back games in Guwahati and Visakhapatnam.
Consequently, the 22-year-old was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 4.20 crore by outbidding Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals and SunRisers Hyderabad.
The Caribbean Premier League 2018 proved to be a breakthrough tournament for Hetmyer as he scored 440 runs from 12 matches at a strike rate of 148.14.
So far, the left-hander has played 21 T20s and has scored 517 runs at a strike rate of 142.42.
3. AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers, with his exhilarating batting and pyrotechnics in the field, possesses enough firepower to single-handedly win matches for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The South African superstar, who announced his retirement from international cricket just four days after RCB exited the 11th season of IPL, is currently the third-highest run-getter for the team, behind only Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle.
Since moving to the Bengaluru-based franchise in 2011, the 34-year-old has been incredibly consistent and will continue to be one of RCB's most important players in IPL 2019.
De Villiers scored 480 runs in 12 matches at an excellent average of 53.33 and strike rate of 174.54 in IPL 11.
Overall, he has 3,953 runs in the IPL at an average of almost 40 and a strike rate in excess of 150 with three centuries and 28 fifties.
4. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli, arguably the best batsman across formats at the moment, is the second highest run-getter in the IPL behind Suresh Raina.
Virat Kohli has been playing for RCB since the inception of the IPL in 2008 and has scored 4,948 runs from 163 matches so far.
Kohli was at his monstrous best during the IPL 2016 as he scored a record 973 runs from 16 matches and helped the RCB reach the final that season.
During RCB's most successful season, Kohli also became the first player to score 4,000 IPL runs. His record of 973 runs in 2016 still remains the most runs scored by a player in an IPL season.
Kohli has been leading the team for the past six seasons but the star-studded unit has massively underachieved.
However, run-machine Kohli, who led Team India to historic victories in Australia and New Zealand, will be aiming to win his maiden IPL title in 2019.
5. Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal, one of the 14 players retained by the Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the IPL 2019 auctions, has been a part of the franchise since 2014.
The 28-year-old, who has been retained by the franchise for his sixth straight season, has picked up 82 wickets and is the highest wicket-taker for RCB at the moment.
Chahal has been a regular member of the Indian limited-overs team under Virat Kohli and the leg spinner will be his skipper's go-to guy to break partnerships in the IPL 2019 as well.
Chahal, who has mastered the art of wicket-taking on India's best batting pitches, will lead RCB's bowling attack which includes the likes of Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Washington Sundar.