As one of the original eight teams that were established for the first season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) first in 2008, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have had a lot of experience in the league but not the silverware to boast about through the years. While having made it to the IPL final in 2009, 2011 and 2016, RCB have never won the trophy.
Ever since the beginning, the team has seen some brilliant players like Rahul Dravid, AB de Villiers, Kevin Pietersen and now Virat Kohli, lead the squad in red and gold but have failed to win the tournament even once, making it one of three original franchises to have never lifted the cup.
Last year, in the franchise's eleventh season in the league, Virat Kohli's men consisted of an outstanding coaching staff. With former Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori and Ashish Nehra as their bowling coaches and the World Cup winning coach for Team India, Gary Kirsten looking after the batting department, there was a lot of experience backing up RCB.
The roster was loaded with big hitters like de Villiers, Brendon McCullum and King Kohli himself and a unique blend of spin and fast bowlers like Yuzvendra Chahal and Australia's Nathan Coulter-Nile, who are wicket-hungry and in their prime shape.
However, despite all the experience, skills and talent aboard, the Royal Challengers were not as good as they appeared on paper. Injuries, bad judgement calls and the lack of team chemistry on their part made Bangalore one of the worst teams of the league that did not even qualify for the playoffs and were at the third last position on IPL's points table, just two points above the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), which was the worst team of them all.
After their season ended on a rather forgettable note, Kohli expressed his displeasure with the team's performance in a tweet:
I really believe in the concept of, "you either win or you learn". We fought hard and gave it our all but one thing is for sure, next season we definitely will bounce back stronger than ever with our learnings from this season.
Take care. @RCBTweets #RCB #IPL2018 pic.twitter.com/b0QM9chRAN
Kohli made a pledge to the RCB fans that they would look to make the necessary changes and try their best to be better this season and it looks like the management is dedicated to keeping that pledge.
During the IPL auction ahead of the twelfth season of the league, RCB spent a total of Rs. 16.35 crores out of their purse of Rs. 18.15 crores on buying talents Shivam Dube (Rs 5cr), Shimron Hetmyer (Rs 4.2cr), Akshdeep Nath while retaining the core members of the team like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Squad: Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Moeen Ali, Mohammed Siraj, Colin de Grandhomme, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Shivam Dube, Heinrich Klassen, Gurkeerat Singh, Himmat Singh, Prayas Ray Barman, Mandeep Singh