IPL 2018: Royal Challengers Banaglore might have assembled their most potent squad yet
Since the inception of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have boasted one of the best, if not THE best, batting line-ups in the entire tournament. With hard-hitters such as Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson, RCB have been second to no one when it comes to the power of their batting department.
However, despite this, the team never has won the IPL in 10 seasons, having reached the final on three occasions. All RCB supporters last season would have been bitterly disappointed with their team's poor performance, as the team lost a majority of the matches that they played and failed to reach the playoffs.
That sparked some serious changes within the team,which is reflected in the squad they have selected for this season's IPL.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore of 2018
Going into the 2018 season, RCB seem to have learnt from their past mistakes of focusing predominantly on batting power. They have selected a squad which is more balanced and which provides skipper Kohli with a lot of different options and combinations.
One of the biggest changes which loyal fans will notice is the exclusion of the big-hitting Chris Gayle, who had been a mainstay at the franchise. With an extremely poor showing last season, and not much to speak of at the international stage since then, the six-hitting machine has been let go. It was a bold decision, but perhaps also the right one.
Their 2018 squad boasts a lot more all-rounders than squads of the past, who would provide the franchise with depth in both the batting and the bowling departments. The big-hitting services of De Villiers and Kohli have of course been retained, and they have been joined by Brendon McCullum, who is likely to open the batting in place of Gayle.
Nathan Coulter-Nile is still suffering from an injury, and RCB have taken a positive approach by calling on the services of explosive Kiwi all-rounder Corey Anderson as a replacement. Some people would argue that this has actually strengthened the squad and made them a more lethal team to face.
Time will tell whether those people are right.
One thing is for certain though - the Royal Challengers Bangalore have changed from the past and have signaled their intent to win their maiden title this year. Kohli, as always, remains an excellent captain and you feel that having a squad with more depth in both its batting and bowling will provide him with more control and options in each match.
Their complete squad is listed below:
Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Chris Woakes, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Brendon McCullum, Navdeep Saini, Quinton De Kock, Mohammed Siraj, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin De Grandhomme, M. Ashwin, Parthiv Patel, Moeen Ali, Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohra, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Kulwant Khejroliya, Aniket Choudhary, Pavan Deshpande, Anirudha Ashok Josh, Washington Sundar, Corey Anderson