Players Bought, Retained, and Released by RCB
The auction for the Indian Premier League 2020 has concluded and teams have bought players that they think would strengthen them. Royal Challengers Bangalore were also not shy of spending money in order to bring in some star players.
The Bengaluru franchise bought the following players in the auction…
Aaron Finch – INR 4.4 crore
Chris Morris – INR 10 crore
Joshua Philippe – INR 2 lac
Kane Richardson – INR 4 lac
Pavan Deshpande – INR 20 lac
Dale Steyn – INR 2 crore
Shahbaz Ahamad – INR 20 lac
Isuru Udana – INR 50 lac
Following the auction, captain Virat Kohli stated that he was happy with the buys.
“I am very happy with the players that we have selected and really looking forward to the new season. We’ve had a lot of discussions on the structure and balance of the team and this looks like a good start for us,” Kohli said.
“I believe it all comes down to every individual to give out their best performance during the league and to enjoy the best form of cricket by playing bold,” he added.
Strengthening the pace department
As can be interpreted from the list of purchases above, RCB went heavy in the bowling department, trying to settle the bowling quagmire once and for all. They bought Dale Steyn, Kane Richardson and Isuru Udana to strengthen the pace bowling department.
A look at these three bowlers would give one the impression that RCB have done really well in the auction since purchasing this trio improves their bowling significantly.
However, there are still some question marks. Dale Steyn isn’t the bowler that he used to be and doesn’t have the best injury record in recent years. The probability of him not being able to complete the whole season due to injury is quite high.
Meanwhile, Isuru Udana is a decent option, who can also bat a bit in the end. He could give his team some variety as he is a left-handed pacer but is often guilty of giving away too many runs.
This leaves RCB with Kane Richardson – and he might just end up being their signing of the season. While he, like Udana, can often give away a lot of runs, he has the ability to pick up wickets.
Richardson ended up as the highest wicket-taker in the 2018-19 season of the Big Bash League with 24 wickets from 14 matches. As a result, he could be an essential cog in RCB’s bowling line up and could end up as one of the tournament’s highest wicket-takers.
The biggest batting name
Meanwhile, the Bengaluru side also signed Aaron Finch and that could very well help take some burden off the shoulders of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. Finch is an excellent opening batsman and has the ability to score runs at a frantic pace at the top of the order.
Kohli should, however, be patient with him and not treat him like he did with Shane Watson – who never had a fixed batting position at Bangalore. If Finch is given a good run of games as an opener – even if he fails in a few games initially – he could come good for the Bengaluru side.
The most expensive
The Challengers’ most expensive buy came in the form of Chris Morris, who was bought for a whopping 10 crore. The South African has become a rather renowned entity in the Indian Premier League due to his ability to bowl four overs and also smash quick runs in the lower order.
Morris, however, hasn’t been in the best of form – as seen in the Mzansi Super League – and might be somewhat of a hit-or-miss for the Bengaluru outfit. But there is no denying the strength that he brings to the side.
Morris is someone who can smash a 10-ball 25 in the death overs and give his team an extra 15 runs, which in a T20 match is often the difference between winning and losing.
Joshua Philippe, Shahbaz Ahmed and Pavan Deshpande complete the rest of the list. All three of them are superb strikers of the ball and there is a chance for at least one of them to become the bargain signing of the season.
Shahbaz Ahmed is a slow-left-arm orthodox who can also bat and has a healthy strike-rate of nearly 130 with the bat and an average of over 30. His bowling average, too, is impressive at 22.53.
Meanwhile, Joshua Philippe is currently lighting up the BBL and gives RCB a genuine option with the bat, someone who scores at a strike-rate of over 150 in T20 cricket.
Finally, Deshpande has a superb average of 47.33 in T20s and could be an ideal finisher for his side as he has an excellent strike-rate of nearly 150.
In conclusion, RCB have fared well in the auction and have tried to address the issues with their bowling. They have also added a lot of hitters to their batting, making them a strong side ahead of the IPL next year.