Head coach Simon Katich has reiterated the importance of captain Virat Kohli to the Royal Challengers Bangalore's 2020 Indian Premier League campaign.
Kohli will lead a team lined with international stars, including Australian Aaron Finch and South African AB de Villiers, and a host of talented local players.
“Once you see him, Kohli, up close and in person, you realise how calm and measured he is in terms of his thoughts to us with respect to the group and his knowledge of this group,” said Katich.
“That's the beauty from our point of view. Coming into this group with a fresh set of eyes, we had our own opinions on the squad. Being able to get his insight and information on the squad was great.
“The other thing he's got is passion and energy for this group, a real affinity. If you look back at the auction, we retained a lot of players despite the last few seasons not going to plan.
“The biggest change we've made is more so from the overseas contingent to try and balance the team. From that point of view, there's a real belief from Virat that's directed to this group and his backing of the local boys. That's probably been the stand out thing for me.”
Bangalore's IPL background
Bangalore have never won the IPL. They have lost three finals – in 2009, 2011 and 2016.
This year's tournament will be played in the United Arab Emirates. Matches will not have spectators, as tournament organisers attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This season presents a different challenge because the guys are jumping out of their skins, get out there, train and do their best after six months off. A number of overseas players have been training regularly in different parts of the world depending on the severity of lockdown,” added Katich.
“But this challenge is more mental because the Bangalore cricketers aren't used to having this much time off between games. The challenge is with younger players who are still learning their way and finding their routines.
“We have had to spend extra time over the last couple of months with them, using doctor Chaitanya Sridhar's expertise.”