When you have Virat Kohli in your ranks, it is only fair that you are expected to lift the coveted IPL trophy every alternate year. Despite Virat Kohli calling Bangalore his adopted home for a decade and a power-packed batting lineup year after year, the Royal Challengers Bangalore have never been able to win the Indian Premier League and only have three final appearances to show for their efforts over the past decade.
However, the mega auction brought in fresh hope for the Bangalore franchise and it has to be said that they were able to plug in the problem areas in their squad to an extent.
After retaining Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Sarfaraz Khan earlier in the month, RCB went into the auction with a purse of INR 49 crore and used it to good effect, bringing in 21 new players including the likes of Chris Woakes, Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali and Tim Southee.
Here, we list down the four overseas players that captain Virat Kohli and coach Daniel Vettori might include in their starting lineup in IPL 2018:
1. AB de Villiers
The Royal Challengers Bangalore moved on expected lines to retain the services of this superman from South Africa. Along with captain Kohli, ABD will certainly be the first name on coach Daniel Vettori’s teamsheet in the upcoming IPL season. AB de Villiers is an IPL legend and has been one of the most watchable players in the league over the past decade. Come IPL 11, de Villiers will most certainly be at the forefront of RCB’s plans to plot their maiden title win in April and May this year.
2. Brendon McCullum
The former New Zealand captain is a legend of the T20 game and is still the leading run-getter in international T20 cricket, more than two years after his retirement. Having set the IPL stage on fire with teams such as the Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Lions in the past, McCullum will now join Kohli and de Villiers at RCB and hope to lead the franchise to its first ever IPL title in the upcoming season.
3. Quinton de Kock
In a rather surprising turn of events, there was no real rush to bring in this baby-faced assassin with the Royal Challengers Bangalore getting their man for a bargain INR 2.8 crores at the recently held mega auction in Bangalore. Despite missing the IPL in 2017, QdK has generally done well in the league for a struggling Delhi Daredevils side in the past and his ability to keep wickets is a massive advantage for RCB. The South African wicketkeeper-batsman will in all likelihood open the innings for RCB alongside Brendon McCullum and might just be the surprise package of IPL 2018.
4. Chris Woakes
English all-rounder Chris Woakes had both the Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore going neck to neck for his signature at the auction, with RCB finally winning the bidding war and securing Woakes’ services for a whopping INR 7.4 crores. While RCB also have Nathan Coulter-Nile and Tim Southee in their ranks, they will most likely start with Woakes as their preferred overseas pace bowler with the Englishman’s ability to contribute crucial runs down the order also weighing heavy in his favour.