IPL 2018: Pre-tournament Best XI for Royal Challengers Bangalore

Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock

One team that always has had the flamboyance and the flare since the inception of Indian Premier League is Royal Challengers Bangalore. It has possessed star-studded line-ups in every season but opposite to the expectations, the franchise has not added a single trophy to its cabinet.

Before this year’s auction, they went the predictable way by retaining Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers but a surprise retention came in the form of Sarfaraz Khan. Batting has never been an issue with RCB and it’s always been the bowling that has let them down. So this year, they bagged some quality bowlers and the side looks a well-balanced one.

Here’s the best XI for Royal Challengers Bangalore

#1 Quinton de Kock

The South African batsman was picked up for INR 2.8 crores by Royal Challengers Bangalore from the auction. Although he doesn’t have a great IPL record but does have a few good numbers to show. He represented Delhi Daredevils last year and now has big shoes to fill in for RCB.

The Bangalore-based franchise opted not to go for Chris Gayle this time around, someone who had been an integral part of the setup for a number of years. Gayle has been a massive crowd-puller over the years and now, de Kock will have to play that role. The left-hander likes the ball coming onto the bat and the Chinnaswamy track could just be the one to put him on the map.

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Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock
One team that always has had the flamboyance and the flare since the inception of Indian Premier League is Royal Challengers Bangalore. It has possessed star-studded line-ups in every season but opposite to the expectations, the franchise has not added a single trophy to its cabinet. Before this year's auction, they went the predictable way by retaining Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers but a surprise retention came in the form of Sarfaraz Khan. Batting has never been an issue with RCB and it's always been the bowling that has let them down. So this year, they bagged some quality bowlers and the side looks a well-balanced one.

Here's the best XI for Royal Challengers Bangalore

#1 Quinton de Kock

The South African batsman was picked up for INR 2.8 crores by Royal Challengers Bangalore from the auction. Although he doesn't have a great IPL record but does have a few good numbers to show. He represented Delhi Daredevils last year and now has big shoes to fill in for RCB. The Bangalore-based franchise opted not to go for Chris Gayle this time around, someone who had been an integral part of the setup for a number of years. Gayle has been a massive crowd-puller over the years and now, de Kock will have to play that role. The left-hander likes the ball coming onto the bat and the Chinnaswamy track could just be the one to put him on the map.

#2 Manan Vohra

Manan Vohra
Manan Vohra
IPL has been one tournament that has been a breeding ground for hundreds of Indian youngsters. There have been numerous players who have caught the eyes with their extraordinary talent. Manan Vohra is one of those batsmen who has made people turn their heads towards him. Even though he hasn't been hugely consistent but every now and then, he would come up with a scintillating knock that would make everyone go nuts. With Vohra at the top, accompanied by de Kock, they can form an explosive opening pair that can lay the foundation for the big guns coming down the order.

#3 Virat Kohli

Talk about IPL legends and Virat Kohli is already up there with the bests of all time. He is the second highest run-getter in the history of the league with 4418 runs, only shadows behind Suresh Raina and inevitably, he is sure to be occupying the pole position in the near future. It was an obvious choice for the Royal Challengers Bangalore to retain the skipper and he became the costliest player of the season by pocketing INR 17 crores. He had a tremendous season with the bat in 2016 when he became the only batsman to notch up 4 centuries in a season. Even though he along with the team, didn't have a great outing last year, his recent form has been brilliant and the prestigious IPL title that has eluded him so far could just be his this year.

#4 AB de Villiers

AB De Villiers
AB De Villiers
If Virat Kohli wasn't enough of a superstar in the team, add AB de Villiers in there and it becomes a dream combination that every cricket lover would travel miles to watch. The South African Superman is in the same league as Kohli when it comes to the legacy in IPL history. For a number of years, he has been a prominent member of Royal Challengers Bangalore and it was an absolute no-brainer for the franchise to retain him. AB has played some of the most jaw-dropping knocks over the years that no one can match. When he comes on his own, there is no stopping him for any bowler. The combination of Kohli and de Villiers at 3 and 4 respectively is the best it can ever get. Recently, AB has been in a great nick and if he carries that to India, boy we are in for some treats this year.

#5 Colin de Grandhomme

Colin de Grandhomme
Colin de Grandhomme
Royal Challengers Bangalore has never been known for having all-rounders. It's always been about the flamboyance in the batting department. But as part of revamping the balance of the team, the franchise did acquire a few quality all-rounders. New Zealand's Colin de Grandhomme could well be the first pick in the side for the all-rounder's slot. He bowls medium pace and can be difficult to score runs off at times if there is assistance from the surface. Additionally, he is a hard-hitting batsman who can provide the impetus at the fag end of the innings.

#6 Sarfaraz Khan

Sarfaraz Khan
Sarfaraz Khan
Before the auction this year, the most surprising retention was Sarfaraz Khan. Even the youngster had no clue that he was going to be retained. But Royal Challengers pulled off a surprising revelation by retaining the wicketkeeper-batsman. Sarfaraz has played a couple of quickfire cameos in the previous editions of the IPL and aided his teams with the extra 10-20 runs at the end. He doesn't fit in the middle-order that comprises of Kohli and de Villiers and so, he is expected to play the similar role of arriving the slog overs and trying to up the ante.

#7 Washington Sundar

Washington Sundar included in India's T20I squad
Washington Sundar
The Indian cricket team is doing wonderfully well in international cricket across formats in the modern era and one of the reasons for that is the amazing bench strength. Several youngsters have emerged who, at a very young age, perform like they belong to the big stage. The latest to rise is the all-rounder Washington Sundar. The tall guy is an old-fashioned off-spinner who relies on the orthodox action and consistent lines and yet he is effective. The 18-year-old doesn't have the variations like other off-spinners but still, he has done a great job especially bowling in the powerplay. His batting remains an unexplored territory and if he flourishes in that aspect as well, Sundar is going to be the trump card for Royal Challengers Bangalore this year.

#8 Mohammed Siraj

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj
In the previous edition of the IPL, Mohammed Siraj impressed one and all with his expertise in the variations of his pace bowling. Representing Sunrisers Hyderabad, he bowled some terrific spells that made him a hot pick in this year's auction. Royal Challengers Bangalore claimed him this year and added to the pace battery. His impressive run in the IPL, as well as domestic cricket, earned him a spot in the Indian national T20 team. Even though the few chances that he got so far haven't been fruitful for him, yet these are early days for the youngster. Playing under Virat Kohli could well be the breakout year for Siraj.

#9 Tim Southee

Tim Southee
Tim Southee
RCB's pace bowling unit was boosted further by the addition of Tim Southee. The Kiwi pacer is an experienced lad as he has been a prominent member of New Zealand's squad in all 3 formats. He swings the new ball miles and is equally effective at the death with the yorkers and the changeups. The franchise lost Nathan Coulter-Nile due to an injury and Corey Anderson was slotted in as a replacement. Southee might get some competition from his countryman for a place in the XI but in the initial days, the team might opt for Southee for his better bowling skills as there is enough firepower in the batting.

#10 Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal
India has always possessed massive strength in spin bowling. Recently, the Men in Blue have been dominating in the colored clothing and the premier reason has been the presence of the 2 wrist spinners - Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. IPL separates the 2 but RCB won't mind having Chahal alone amongst the ranks. The leg-spinner came to the fore by doing well in the IPL while playing for RCB. Kohli's leadership instilled confidence in him and he carried that to the biggest stage. He will be the lead spinner in the side and along with Washington Sundar, he could wreak havoc in the opposition camp, something the RCB bowlers are not known for.

#11 Umesh Yadav

Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav
A year back, Umesh Yadav was India's leading pacer as he bowls and swings at pace. But in the months gone by, he has found it hard making it to the playing XI. Now that he is back under the captaincy of Kohli, he needs to make the most of it. The Chinnaswamy deck doesn't assist the pacers a lot and Yadav will have to bring in more variations in his armor. But there is no question about his ability. He is perhaps the quickest Indian pacer at the moment and there is no reason why he can't be a successful bowler of the shortest format of the game.   Stay updated with all the cricketing action, follow Cricadium on FacebookTwitter and Instagram