Royal Challengers Bangalore had a sour taste of the tournament last season. For the upcoming tournament of IPL 2018, the team created a reshuffled squad with several major buys. This time RCB turned more towards specialist players in both bowling and batting departments. With mastermind Virat Kohli at the backdrop, the team pulled players like Yuzvendra Chahal, Chris Woakes and Pawan Negi on board. On the other side, AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan are expected to form a strong top order. David Warner’s dismissal was a strong setback, but the team is still stuffed with some of the best players.
RCB is stuffed with some of the best in international circuit. Quinton de Kock, Colin De Grandhomme and Brandon McCullum are definitely the most relevant cricketers in current times, but there has been a mismatch in team formation. Kohli and de Villiers are successful to put up a higher strike rate in IPL series compared to their career average. In last two seasons Kohli reached 146, while de Villiers had 161.16. This season, RCB left some players including Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul and Kader Yadav, but it is still with the ensemble of most formidable players in the shortest format.
Home players in the team misfired in previous IPL matches. Players like Parthiv Patel, Manan Vohra, Sarfraz Khan and Mandeep Singh are being tried out, but without any palpable impact. The combination of international players with these domestic players is a tough equation. To built up the middle order is a tough task for selectors. The current scenario suggest Quinton de Kock might pair up with Patel or Vohra as the opening pair. The second and third wicket of Virat Kohli and de Villiers will boost the lineup. While, the middle order is quite cluttered with many options.
RCB’s ensemble still seems to be heavier on the batting side. They picked up all-rounders, but bowling would be spearheaded only by Yuzvendra Chahal and Tim Southee. With Woakes on board, RCB would have pace as their primary attack this season.
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