Captain Virat Kohli has hailed the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad for the 2020 Indian Premier League as the “most balanced” since 2016.
The Bangalore squad of four years ago reached the IPL final. They lost it to the Sunrisers Hyderabad, though. That 2016 RCB squad featured overseas stars such as West Indian Chris Gayle and South African David Wiese.
Four years later, the 2020 squad still has Kohli, South African AB de Villiers, Australian Shane Watson and other retained players.
Sri Lankan Isuru Udana, England's Moeen Ali, Australian Aaron Finch and other players from abroad have also joined.
“We've got a great balance of experience, the skill required for T20 cricket and the youngsters in the team who are eager to take up the responsibility and look forward to opportunities that we're going to provide them,” Kohli told RCB TV.
“It's an exciting time. As I said, that 2016 season which we've all loved to be a part of, it was such a memorable season.
“Since then, to be honest, this is the most balanced I've felt about the squad, as a system where we're heading. It's been very well taken care of now, it's up to us to execute those things on the field.”
Bangalore have never won the IPL. Their 2020 campaign will start against Hyderabad at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on 21 September.
IPL 2020 in the UAE
This season's Indian Premier League will be played in the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are the other host cities. The tournament was also played in the UAE in 2014.
This year's tournament will be played without spectators. This will be done as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus.
“In the IPL, the biggest challenge used to be travel. You pack your bags for a two-match trip, three-match trip, you come back and it's hectic. It is more of a level playing field now,” added Kohli.
“Three venues and every team would know the conditions. It boils down to the skill-level rather than the home-away advantage. Competition will be even and high because of this factor.”
The Mumbai Indians are the reigning champions. They beat the Chennai Super Kings in the 2019 final. Mumbai have four titles. Chennai have three. The Kolkata Knight Riders have two.