Virat Kohli bats during a practice session in Dubai. Courtesy Twitter
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Dubai: As the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) look to end their Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy jinx, skipper Virat Kohli feels they have the most-balanced squad and they can be a serious contenders for the elusive title this time around.
“I would definitely agree with the fact that we have a very well-balanced team. The reason why we wanted some like Chris Morris was precisely because he brings a lot of balance into the team,” said Kohli on RCB’s Bold Diaries.
“Some of the youngsters that we have signed, we have picked up this time, they are also quite excited. Someone like Aaron Finch, who has played a lot of international cricket for a while. Someone like George Phillpe, he is up and coming as a very exciting player and all of them make the squad a very all-round side,” he added.
“We also have got the perfect mix of experience and skills required to play T20 cricket. There are youngsters in the team, who are eager to take the responsibility and looking forward to the opportunities that we are going to provide them.
“So, since 2016 season, of which we are all so proud of to be a part of, this is the most balanced squad,” asserted the Indian captain.
RCB’s story has been that of so near but so far. The star-studded squad, which features players like Kohli and De Villiers, have been two times finalists but never won the title.
RCB have not been able to live up their reputation in the last few seasons. They were the runners-up in 2016. Since then they have not been able to make the play-offs, which is quite disappointing for a team of their stature.
The Indian captain vowed to disconnect from the past and look forward to the future, with their sights firmly set on the trophy.
“We definitely feel a miracle will happen. We have never felt so calm going into any IPL season. AB is coming from a very different space and he is enjoying his life. He is very relaxed. He came out and played a few times in leagues around the world. He is looking like as fit as he is still playing in 2011. When it comes to the environment of the IPL. It is all about disconnecting with the things that have happened in the past and not taking that baggage, I think we have done that too many times.
“Just because we have a bunch of players, who are so skilled and people like seeing them play. This is the reason, why people have so much expectations from the team as well. We know what we can do and we are very hungry to go and just do it,” he elaborated.
He also stressed that playing on only three grounds will take a lot of load off their back as it would save them from traveling.
“It is very simple. Starting from where you are living. In IPL the biggest challenge used to be travelling. Packing a small bag for a two-match trip and then when you come back it gets hectic and conditions change.
“It is more of a level playing field, just three venues and everyone knows the conditions. It boils down to the skill level rather than home and away advantage, that has been a thing in the past.
“This is also good. Because the competition is quite even and high because of this factor. At the same time, staying in the same hotel, just unpacked your bag and stack it in the wardrobe, which you have never done before is amazing.
“It is like your home for two months. Just go play, practise and come back. You have your own bio bubble and your own areas, just chill and relax.”
Kohli added it was an amazing feeling to have the backing of the top management as it gave one the room to think freely.
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