IPL 2018: A look at how RCB could line-up this season
Royal Challengers Bangalore, the three-time IPL runners-up, have managed to assemble a formidable squad consisting of a good mixture of Indian and foreign players and one that possesses the wisdom of experience and the exuberance of youth.
Traditionally RCB has boasted of a power-packed batting line-up with a formidable top four. Even this time around they have multiple options for all batting positions right from the opening slot down to No.7.
It is RCB’s bowling that was always a weak link in the past seasons. But this time around the team management clearly went into the auctions with a strategy of strengthening their bowling line-up and they seem to have been pretty successful in that.
They have bagged some very good T20 bowlers who have impressive records in the shorter format all over the world. In fact, they have bought all the four bowlers who were the wreckers-in-chief when KKR had bowled them for 49 last season!
Royal Challengers have also got a good mix of all-rounders in their squad, something which was a rarity in earlier seasons.
Given the pleasant team selection head-ache that RCB has, it would be interesting to see what Daniel Vettori and Virat Kohli think the ideal line-up would be.
Here we look at the possible starting XI for the Royal Challengers.
#1 Quinton De Cock
The explosive South African wicket-keeper batsman, who has a phenomenal ODI record, had a very good run with the Delhi Daredevils in the past.
He has the ability to give a quick start to his team and can also bat big. His 51-ball 108 in IPL 2016 against his current franchise is his most remarkable knock which helped Delhi Daredevils overhaul a target of 192 with ease.
De Kock is a good wicket-keeper especially in T20s and would be more than valuable to RCB’s fortunes in IPL 2018.
Although Brendon McCullum is another option which RCB have, given the fact that he has not kept wickets recently (and has batted in the middle order in the ongoing PSL), De Kock would be the ideal choice to open the innings.
RCB would be hoping for De Kock to score big in the power-play so that the middle order can capitalise and put up huge totals especially on the smallish Chinnaswamy ground where runs are pretty easy to come by.
Matches 26, Runs 726, Average 29.04, Strike Rate 132.24, 100s 1, 50s 5
#2 Manan Vohra
RCB have quite a few Indian options to open the innings alongside De Kock. Parthiv Patel has opened the innings for Mumbai Indians with modest success. The Indian captain Virat Kohli is another option.
But given that there aren’t many Indian players who could bat in the middle overs, RCB may prefer to go with Manan Vohra at the top (thereby allowing Kohli to bat at No.3) given his decent IPL record.
Manan Vohra, who was bought for 1.1 crore, has scored three fifties opening the innings and has a career strike rate of 132 in IPL.
The 24-year old has played some excellent knocks in the past playing for King XI Punjab including his stunning knock of 95 off 50 balls in IPL 2017 against the Sunrisers Hyderabad which came in a losing cause.
Matches 45, Runs 957, Average 24.54, Strike Rate 132.73, 100s 0, 50s 3