When Royal Challengers Bangalore team entered 2018 IPL auction, they just had one thing in mind – to dump non-performers and strengthen their bowling units. And post the auction, they have done well in getting a balanced team. Cricwizz analyses the RCB squad for 2018 IPL.
Retained: Virat Kohli (Rs 17 c), AB de Villiers (Rs 11 c), Sarfraz Khan (Rs 3 c) were the retained players before the auction. RCB did well to show confidence on Virat Kohli’s batting and captaincy and retain him despite the team finishing second last in last IPL season. ABD, who was lackluster last season, would be happy at the faith show by team management in retaining him and he would look to repay them by putting up a good show in the upcoming season. RCB also retained Sarfaraz Khan as they are looking at him as the future star of India.
RTM card: RCB retained all-rounder Pawan Negi, exercising their Right to Match card, for Rs 1 crore. Negi was one of the few bright spots for RCB last season. And Negi brings a lot to the table with his all-round skills. It was a good investment on the part of RCB. The team also retained YS Chahal for Rs 6 crore after a bidding war on the young leg-spinner. Chahal has been in terrific form in the past couple of seasons.
Released Gayle and got Brendon McCullum: RCB released unpredictable and ageing star Gayle who finally found a buyer in the auction on third attempt. They bought old warhorse Brendon McCullum for Rs 3.6 crore. McCullum will partner Kohli in the opening slots. It’s a good choice as McCullum continues to be the most feared T20 opening batsman across the cricketing world.
Must read: Complete list of all squads in 2018 IPL
Bought all the pacers who had routed RCB for 49 in last IPL season: RCB was bowled out for 49 by KKR bowlers in last IPL season. And RCB dutifully bought all of them. And it’s a great move as RCB have suffered due to lack of quality pace bowling unit. They bought former KKR bowlers Chris Woakes (7.4 c), Colin de Grandhomme (2.2 c), Nathan Coulter-Nile (2.2 Cr) and Umesh Yadav (4.2 c) and bolstered their pace unit.
Quality local cricketers: RCB bought back Aniket Choudhary (30 Lakh) who had a good season with RCB in last edition. They also showed lot of faith on Mandeep Singh and bought him back in the auction. Former KXIP player Manan Vohra too was bought by RCB. It’s another great move. Vohra had a decent season with the bat for Punjab last time. Former SRH pacer Mohammed Siraj will also play for RCB and add teeth to the bowling attack.
Keeper in Quinton de Kock: The South African keeper is one of the best keepers around and he is a good bat as well. It cost RCB Rs 2.8 crore but Kock is worth every penny.
Spin attack: It’s well-covered with YS Chahal leading the way. They also have quality back-ups in Negi, Moeen Ali, M Ashwin and Washington Sundar.
Overseas players: RCB have indulged themselves in buying far too many overseas bowlers as only or two of them can make it the playing XI, considering the team will go for AB, de Kock and McCullum as first-choice overseas players. They will be find it difficult to get the correct mix of overseas players, especially in bowling unit, in the playing XI.
What are their chances of winning title with the current squad?
RCB have shed their non-performing stars and opted for form than reputation. Besides, they have strengthen their pace unit which was their major weakness in past few IPL seasons. Kohli has good back-up batsmen in McCullum, Mandeep, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan and the team will not be reliant on Kohli alone. RCB have a well-rounded unit.
Full squad: Virat Kohli (retained 17 c), AB de Villiers (retained 11 c), Sarfraz Khan (retained 3 c), Brendon McCullum (3.6 c), Chris Woakes (7.4 c), Colin de Grandhomme (2.2 c), Moeen Ali (1.7 c), Quinton de Kock (2.8 c), Umesh Yadav (4.2 c), Yuzvendra Chahal (6 c), Manan Vohra (1.1 c), Kulwant Kejroliya (85 Lakh), Aniket Choudhary (30 Lakh), Navdeep Saini (3 c), Murugan Ashwin (2.2 Cr), Mandeep Singh (1.4 Cr), Washington Sundar (3.2 Cr), Pawan Negi (1 Cr RTM), Mohammad Siraj (2.6 Cr), Nathan Coulter-Nile (2.2 Cr), Anirudha Joshi (20L)