The lack of all-rounders, the focus as we look at three players Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) should target for IPL 2021 Auction.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently announced the final list of short-listed 292 players for the IPL 2021 Auction. The list contains a lot of star overseas and Indian players that would be on the radar of most of the teams depending on their purse availability and gaps.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore had surprised everyone when they had released a truckload of players ahead of IPL 2021 Auction; even after finishing fourth in IPL 2020. One of the reasons for that could be the cost of players vis-à-vis the value they bring to the table. Hence, the likes of Aaron Finch, Umesh Yadav, and Chris Morris were the ones to go.
As a result of the current retentions, RCB now have a group of 14 players – 6 of those are confirmed starters in the playing 11. However, there are gaps in categories except for spin and pace department, which team would definitely need to fill. Here’s how the team looks like ahead of IPL 2021 Auction.
RCB’s Retained Squad ahead of IPL 2021 Auction:
Total Players: 14 // Overseas Players: 5 // Total Purse Available: INR 35.4 Cr.
Batsmen: Ab de Villiers (WK), Devdutt Padikkal, Joshua Philippe (WK), and Virat Kohli (C).
All-rounders: Harshal Patel, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmad, and Washington Sundar.
Bowlers: Adam Zampa, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini, and Yuzvendra Chahal
The Royal Challengers Bangalore currently have 5 overseas players in their rooster in the form of Josh Philippe, Ab de Villiers, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, and Daniel Sams. If we analyse their current playing 11, only Ab de Villiers seems a confirmed starter, and only one of Richardson or Daniel Sams should play in the final 11.
RCB can now buy a maximum of three overseas players, but which ones would they be? If we look at the current squad weakness, RCB need a good opener, a strong middle-order player, and a first-choice all-rounder. So, from the list of available overseas players, here are 3 players RCB should target in the IPL 2021 Auction.
#3: Dawid Malan (Opener)
The loss of Aaron Finch has left RCB with a void of a good overseas or Indian opener in the squad. While Devdutt Padikkal is sure to start as the opener, the other option, Josh Philippe lacks IPL and International experience, but has been in brilliant form in the recently concluded BBL. Hence, RCB would definitely look to buy a good overseas opener or wicket-keeper opener.
The swashbuckling top-order batsman from England, Dawid Malan has registered his name for IPL 2021 Auction at a base price of INR 1.5 crores. He is currently world number 1 when it comes to T20 Internationals, and has given a tough competition to the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, or Alex Hales. He could be a hot pick for many franchises during the Auction.
RCB currently have a good pool of money, and they should definitely go for Dawid Malan to solve their top-order woes. With him in the squad, Malan can play as an opener alongside Devdutt Padikkal. The good thing with Malan is his consistency, which is very much needed for RCB to strategize their batting beside VK and ABD.
Other Good Options: Aaron Finch and Jason Roy
#2: Glenn Maxwell (Middle-order Batsman)
While top-order is definitely a priority for RCB, the team does not have any stable batsman after Ab de Villiers, who is expected to bat at 4. The only decent options available with RCB to bat at 5 and 6 are Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Ahmad. That’s not a good sign for a team which surprisingly released Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, and Gurkeerat Singh.
Looking at the options RCB can think of, Glenn Maxwell seems just the right fit for the team. More so, Glenn Maxwell brings a big brand image to the table, which RCB have always looked for in their star power hiring. No matter how awful Maxwell was in IPL 2020, his International stats are nothing less than ordinary.
Maxwell could just be the right fit for RCB to play a dual role of a middle-order batsman and a Finisher. Even if there isn’t a good batsman after Maxwell, him at 5 could just be perfect. The RCB management would only need to motivate Maxwell, and extract the best out of him which, unfortunately, KXIP couldn’t do in IPL 2020.
Other Good Options: Steve Smith and Sam Billings
#1: Chris Morris (All-rounder)
The departure of Chris Morris himself along with Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Pawan Negi, and Isuru Udana has left a big void in RCB’s squad when it comes to all-rounders. There is officially only 1 good all-rounder in the squad, and that is Washington Sundar. Apart from him, there are part-time all-rounders like Shahbaz Ahmad, Harshal Patel, and Pavan Deshpande.
Chris Morris did well for RCB in IPL 2020 with the ball. The only reason RCB left him out could be his injury woes and high price tag. Otherwise, Morris was an asset to the team. Hence, if available again albeit, at a cheaper price, RCB should go for him. Barring him, Moeen Ali and Shakib Al Hasan could also be good options.
Other Good Options: Shakib Al Hasan and Moeen Ali
Thank you so much for reading the article! Which players should Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) target in the IPL 2021 Auction? Please email your thoughts to email@example.com
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.