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Is IPL 2018 going to be the season for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Virat & de Villiers?

Royal Challengers Bangalore aka RCB is perhaps the team that is invariably present in a list called “My Favorite IPL teams” of every IPL follower. It has been one of the most followed franchises and is known for pulling in massive crowds year after year.

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RCB skipper Virat Kohli”s focus on fitness and his passion for the game are primary aspects that cricketing circles absolutely love to have a chat about. Over the years, he has adapted extremely well to the demands of different formats.

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His appetite for run scoring and the way he tunes himself in response to challenging situations and conditions is bound to inspire youngsters across the globe. His captaincy and leadership skills have been on the rise and are highly regarded by cricket pundits.

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For a competitive cricketer like Kohli who sets high standards for himself and his team, it will be interesting to see how he marshals his troop through the rigors of IPL cricket; after all, we are talking about a league that has everything in it to test a player, leader, coach and an owner.

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While Virat has been associated with RCB since the inception of the league, AB de Villiers was picked up by the Bengaluru based franchise at the auction in 2011.AB has entertained fans non-stop with his batting and acrobatic fielding-snatched the advantage from oppositions with game-changing knocks or plucked catches in the field out of nowhere to seal the deal.

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It feels like he knows the complete strategy of the bowler(s) and the opposing captain and that he is one or two steps ahead with the luxury of 2 different shots for each delivery. His innovative shots all-round the park against quality bowlers at crucial junctures of the game has been a major highlight of the IPL. The chants of RCB and ABD have been given a common tune by the IPL crowds and he reckons that he is truly blessed to have such wonderful support in India.

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Both the talisman batsmen have great mutual respect for each other”s skills and approach towards the game. It has been a real treat for cricket lovers to watch two of the best in the business at their prime batting together. They not only won RCB games of cricket single-handedly but also forged numerous surreal partnerships by unleashing a full array of strokes outsmarting each other-rather surprising themselves with the shot making ability that they possess. Adding an IPL winners medal to their trophy cabinet would certainly be one on top of their Bucket lists.

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 RCB, despite starting most of the editions as one of the top contenders, thanks to the stalwarts in their squad, have not been able to lift the coveted trophy. There has been an opinion about this team that the immense weight of expectations had served against them over the years. However, they are the holders of several all-time IPL records and fared extremely well in few seasons-specially the editions of 2009,2011 and 2016 where they finished as the runners-up which suggest that they definitely have it in them to go all the way.

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The management has on-boarded Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra this year to assist the head coach Daniel Vettori and one has to say that RCB did well at the auction in a bid to plug few gaps. The squad seems more well-rounded with most bases covered and the RCBian family would be hoping their team goes one step further than their previous best in IPL-that would indeed be the perfect gift to the passionate Chinnaswamy crowd.

RCB squad: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Chris Woakes, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Brendon McCullum, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Quinton De Kock, Mohammed Siraj, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin De Grandhomme, M. Ashwin, Parthiv Patel, Moeen Ali, Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohra, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Kulwant Khejroliya, Aniket Choudhary, Pavan Deshpande, Anirudha Ashok Joshi

– by Nikhil Vadapalli