The Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore are regarded as the most glamorous outfit in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but they also carry the tag of underachievers for all the wealth of talent they have had down the years.
One of only five teams to have played all 10 seasons – Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab are the others – they are yet to win a title. They did come close thrice, finishing runners-up in 2009, 2011 and 2016, and were also third in two editions.
This season, RCB arguably have the most balanced squad they ever had. A solid bowling unit, all-rounders and batsmen apart, they also have the bench strength in all departments.
Also, recently, the RCB coach Daniel Vettori revealed that the new entrant in their side Brendon McCullum is going to be a confidante to Virat Kohli in the upcoming season.
“Brendon brings and leadership skills. We were really desperate to have those leaders within the group because we probably had just AB (de Villiers) and Virat (Kohli) last year,” said Vettori.
“Brendon is going to be a confidante to Virat. He brings a style of play we really want at RCB. We’ve added more leaders in Parthiv Patel and Quinton de Kock.”
The RCB side that has emerged from the IPL 2018 players auction looks a balanced outfit, perhaps the most well-rounded the team has been in a long time.
“There was a considered effort to assemble a strong group of domestic bowlers.”
“We’d seen enough of Washington Sundar [to expect the performance he delivered in Sri Lanka]. He’s bowled in the PowerPlay pretty much his whole T20 career. We’ll look to utilise that as well,” Vettori added.
Former New Zealand captain is also confident that RCB has put it’s disastrous 2017 season behind. “We had a lot of injuries and we had a wicket that we didn’t adapt to,” he said.
“The wicket was very different to what we were used to and what we had built the squad around. This time, it’s improved. The guys trained on one of the main wickets on Sunday and they were really happy with it. Touch-wood, it will be like the Chinnaswamy of old.”
RCB skipper Virat Kohli is fresh after a six-week-long break from international cricket, something Vettori approved of.
“He was resting from games, but not from his training or his fitness regime.”
“He’s had a chance to step away from the pressure of playing for India. He’s desperate to do well all the time, and generally that’s for his country. Brendon already talks about being inspired by how hard he works. It’s a real example to everyone,” Vettori concluded.