Rahul Dravid stays Royal Challengers skipper

Royal Challengers Bangalore will not do a Team Hyderabad and axe their captain. RCB sources on Friday virtually confirmed that Rahul Dravid, their icon player and captain in the first season of the Indian Premier League, will continue to lead the side in the second edition as well. The Bangalore team had finished second last, one place above Hyderabad but have desisted from panicking.

In other news emanating from the Bangalore camp, the possibility of Bangalore boy Robin Uthappa, part of the Mumbai Indians side, being traded for Zaheer Khan is still on the cards. Strangely enough it is the Bangalore team that is holding all the aces here.

Over the past season of international cricket, Zaheer Khan, who cost Bangalore $450,000 to Uthappa’s staggering $800,000, has become one of the world’s leading exponents of conventional and reverse swing.

And with someone like Team Jaipur’s Sohail Tanvir showing that bowlers too can play a part in the T20 format, even on Indian tracks to boot, Zaheer’s stock has only risen.

It has thus come to pass that Mumbai are not looking at Zaheer just because he’s from Mumbai. But while they are desperate to bag Zaheer they are not too keen to part with Uthappa, a lad well suited for the T20 game.

For Bangalore, on the other hand, Uthappa will give them the much-needed impetus, branded as they were as more of a ‘Test’ side, seeing that besides Dravid, they had gone in for batsmen such as Wasim Jaffer, Jacques Kallis and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, all known more for their staying prowess, albeit with an ability to adapt to any form.

Also, the impending loss of Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq – none of the Pakistani players are likely to turn up for Season 2 – makes Uthappa’s presence all the more important for Bangalore.

What this has led to is a cat-and-mouse game between Mumbai and Bangalore. With a veteran such as Brijesh Patel as Bangalore CEO, Mumbai may not find it easy.

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