The five-time champions had a brilliant season last year in the heat of UAE. They finished at the top of the table with 18 points from 14 matches. First, they beat Delhi Capitals in the 1st Qualifier and then again went on to beat the Capitals in the final. They have retained most of their core players like Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah. They released seven players out of their squad including Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson, Sherfane Rutherford, Mitchell McCleneghan, Prince Balwant Rai and Digvijay Deshmukh. And they have bought in Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Milne, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen and Arjun Tendulkar. Ishan Kishan was the team’s leading run-scorer last season with 516 runs from just 14 matches. Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult led the wicket-taking list for MI with 27 and 25 wickets respectively.
RCB will start the proceedings in the hunt for their first title against the mighty Mumbai Indians. In the last season, they finished at the fourth position with 14 points from 14 matches. They started off brilliantly but faded away towards the business end of the tournament. They made it to the playoffs but lost to the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator. RCB also retained their core players like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Yuzi Chahal etc. They released Aaron Finch, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Shivam Dube, Dale Steyn and Umesh Yadav. Also, they got in Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Daniel Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai and KS Bharat. The debutant Devdutt Paddikal was exceptional last season as he was the leading run-getter for RCB with 473 runs from 15 matches. Even Virat and AB chipped in with over 400 runs in the tournament. The spin wizard Yuzvendra Chahal was the team’s leading wicket-taker with 21 wickets from 15 matches.