Every year before the start of the premier franchise-based T20 tournament, we think of which all team can make their way through to playoffs with consistent performances in the league stage. It is then, we at the squads, T20 experience in the team, blend of young and experienced campaigners, and a lot more - it is then when Royal Challengers Bangalore's name comes up.
However, seeing their past performances and the dynamics of the team - them men-in-red haven't been as successful as one would think them to be. Every season that they fall short of expectations, they keep adding more stars. When skipper Virat Kohli, arguably the brightest shining cricket star of our times, stands alongside AB de Villiers, one of the powerhouse cricketers of this generation, you go weak in the knees. This year too, the team has added the likes of Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis which would definitely help to strengthen their middle-order, but going by the rules of the Indian Premier League - a team can only play 4 overseas players in the squad - so should RCB focus on them that much?
But with the evolution of cricket, one has come to realise that it is how the team can garner resources to fit into very specific roles that ultimately helps them end on the right side of the line. Look at Chennai Super Kings for instance. Though it probably has the biggest ever names in the squad, the balance is there. But shifting the focus back to RCB - will they be able to find the best lineup this time? - We'll find out in the next six weeks.
Royal Challengers Bangalore squad:
Virat Kohli (c), Akshdeep Nath, Moeen Ali, Yuzvendra Chahal, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin de Grandhomme, AB de Villiers, Shivam Dube, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Shimron Hetmyer, Himmat Singh, Kulwant Khejroliya, Heinrich Klaasen, Milind Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Pawan Negi, Devdutt Padikkal, Parthiv Patel (wk), Prayas Ray Barman, Navdeep Saini, Tim Southee, Marcus Stoinis, Washington sundar, Umesh Yadav.
Coach: Ashish Nehra
Coach and Mentor: Gary Kirsten
Physiotherapist: Evan Speechly
Two Indian Players to watch out for:
One of the talent who is yet to be seen on the world stage. Shivam, who was inch close to repeat Yuvraj Singh's six sixes heroics at the Wankhede Stadium has grown leaps and bounds post that. However, this remains to be seen how this talent performs under pressure situations.
Mohammad Siraj was little expenses last season and seeing the fourth spot still wide open in the Indian squad for the forthcoming World Cup. It will be interesting to see if he is able to capitalize on this opportunity and redeem himself.
Two Foreign Players to watch out for:
It wouldn't be wrong to say that the series between India and Windies last year, Hetmyer was probably the only good thing for Windies. During the Diwali season, the crackers on ground with Hetmyer stamping his authority against the spinners. Coming season would be his first in IPL, and can also act as a decider season.
Going by the standards set by Moeen Ali, he didn't have the best outing against Windies in the recently concluded series which has also questioned his spot in the World Cup. With IPL schedule to happen just before the most prestigious tournament, he may very well have a chance to prove his stature.