Sports Monks

Four players Royal Challengers Bangalore should sign in the IPL auction

In a bid to win their first-ever IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore have kick-started their preparations for the 2019 IPL by trading a couple of star players to the rival teams. First, they traded Quinton de Kock with Mumbai Indians and followed it up with the Mandeep Singh-Marcus Stoinis swap with Kings XI Punjab.

They followed it up by releasing nine more names which include the likes of Brendon McCullum, Sarfaraz Khan etc. They will enter the auction in a bid to strengthen their squad, something that they haven’t done successfully in the past.

Let us take a look at four players RCB should sign in the upcoming IPL auction which has been scheduled for December 18.

Retained players

Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Kulwant Khejroliya, Moeen Ali, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Tim Southee, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini.

Released players

Quinton de Kock, Mandeep Singh, Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Corey Anderson, Sarfraz Khan, Pavan Deshpande, Manan Vohra, Murugan Ashwin, Anirudhha Joshi, Aniket Choudhary.

Traded

Mandeep Singh for Marcus Stoinis. Quinton de Kock to MI.

Available slots

10; Indian 8, Overseas 2

Jason Roy

Going into the 2019 IPL auction, Royal Challengers Bangalore took some bold decisions by almost cleaning up their top-order. First, they let go wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock to Mumbai Indians during the IPL trade, which is a win for the three-time champions, and they released Brendon McCullum and Manan Vohra ahead of the auction.

Now, they are left with Parthiv Patel as the only opener with Virat Kohli being the second option. While everyone knows that Moeen Ali can open the innings in the format, the RCB team management will look to sign an overseas opener to accommodate Parthiv/Virat Kohli at the top of the order.

Over the last few years, England opener Jason Roy, who was released by Delhi Daredevils, has become of the finest white-ball players in the world as he has single-handedly won matches for England on numerous occasions.

Roy, in the 32 T20Is he has played for England, has scored over 700 runs at an average of 23 and an excellent strike-rate of 145.11. In T20s, he has better numbers as he averages 28 for his 4766 runs which he scored at a rate of 146 per 100 balls. So, having someone like Roy at the top of the order will do RCB a lot of good and he is one player RCB should consider during the auction.

Manoj Tiwary

Just like the opener’s role, Royal Challengers Bangalore made a handful of changes to their middle-order as they have decided to let go the two men who were the pillars of their middle-order in the past. First, they swapped middle-order batsman Mandeep Singh with Kings XI Punjab for Marcus Stoinis and then followed it up with the release of Sarfaraz Khan, who was retained by the franchise ahead of the 2018 auction.

This makes RCB’s middle-order fragile and Virat Kohli will want his team to buy at least two good Indian middle-order batsmen in the auction. Talking about good Indian middle-order bat, there is no need for looking beyond Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary, who was released by Kings XI Punjab after he was made to warm the bench for a majority of the last season.

Tiwary has been scoring runs consistently in the Indian domestic circuit for a while but has been ignored by the selectors or the franchises often. Tiwary has the experience of spearheading a team’s middle-order and RCB should ensure that they sign the right-hander to sort out their team’s middle-order mess.

Axar Patel

With the release of Murugan Ashwin, RCB are left with just three spinners in the squad, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Pawan Negi. Chahal is expected to rest every now and then in the tournament keeping the 2019 World Cup in mind and the franchise might want someone experienced to carry the team’s spin attack.

Slow left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who was released by Kings XI Punjab after the 2018 season, is a likely candidate who RCB might go after as he brings a lot of value to the team. He has the ability to bowl four tight overs and is capable of contributing some runs with the bat when needed. Adding to that, he is a safe fielder and Kohli won’t want his team to miss out on a utility T20 player who comes in with a lot of experience.

Tom Curran

Death bowling is one area that has made RCB suffer over the years and the scenario still remains the same. After splashing their money on Chris Woakes in a bid to find a good bowler, RCB ended up letting him go ahead of the IPL auction. Now, they will look into the auction pool to sign an overseas pacer, who is good in the fag end of the innings.

Tom Curran, who was with Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of the 2019 IPL auction, will be a hot commodity in the auction, thanks to his death bowling skills and he is someone RCB will look to poach in the auction. With Nathan Coulter-Nile around, the eldest of the Curran brothers could add a lot of value in the side, thanks to his ability to bowl well in the most important phase of an innings. He has been England’s death bowler in the matches he has played for them and has thrived delivering in those situations.

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