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During the course of the ten years, the Indian Premier league has evolved by leaps and bounds. With the tournament becoming increasingly competitive and excruciatingly intense, gone are the days where team owners used to rake huge sum of money on superstars purely based on the reputation they carried.
Players like Joe Root, Josh Hazlewood, Martin Guptill left unsold bores testimony to the aforementioned facts. Now the owners employ talent scouts who monitor the performance of players around the world evident from a plethora of associate nation cricketers being offered an IPL contract
The 2018 mega IPL auction, held in January saw over 500 cricketers go under the hammer as massive bidding ensued by team owners and various stakeholders in a bid to create a formidable squad for IPL 11.
One of the things to look forward to the IPL 2018 auction was how the Royal Challengers Bangalore formed their squad, especially after a lacklustre season last year that saw them finish in the bottom half of the table. While they have tried to address the issues that have plagued them in the past, there still exist few chinks in their armour that might derail their 2018 campaign.
Here’s a look at three possible reasons why RCB might not win IPL 2018
Too many opening options
On closer analysis of the batting prowess that the RCB have at their disposal, it is worth noting that the team contains as many as five openers. That Virat Kohli likes to open in the shortest format of the game is evident from the preceding seasons, when he used to bat alongside Chris Gayle.
However, with the presence of McCullum and Quinton de Kock in the squad, the skipper might have to push himself down the order, something you wouldn’t want considering the value that Kohli brings to the side at the top.
Thin bowling stocks
One of the perennial problems that RCB has had over the years is the potency of their bowling attack.
While they have tried to address the issue by picking seasoned overseas campaigners in Chris Woakes, Tim Southee, and Nathan Coulter Nile, the problems with their bowling stocks are two-fold, most prominent being a lack of experienced Indian fast bowler barring Umesh Yadav in their ranks. This season will be particularly important for Yadav, who has been out of favour in India’s white-ball set-up for some time now.
If the ignominy of having a lack of experienced Indian fast bowler wasn’t enough, the franchise was dealt with a severe blow with Coulter-Nile getting ruled out from the tournament further diluting their fast bowling stocks
Inexperienced lower middle-order
The lower middle order is possibly the toughest position to bat in T20 cricket. With the seam of the ball getting soft coupled by the ignominy of facing best death bowlers in the game, a seasoned finisher gives stability to the batting order.
RCB do have a formidable top-order with the likes of Kohli, AB de Villiers and Brendon McCullum but their lower middle-order might prove to be their Achilles heel towards the business stage of the tournament.
While Sarfaraz Khan, who was one of three players to be retained by the franchise, had a poor Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy, the likes of Colin de Grandhomme do not have much experience of the Indian conditions which is exactly why Corey Anderson, who was named as a replacement for injured bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile, may have a crucial role to play especially due to the experience that he has of playing in the subcontinent