RCB- A Pre-Auction Review

The Royal Challengers have been a very successful team in IPL, with 3 semifinals, and 2 finals, which is a record second only to the Chennai Super Kings. However, in last year’s IPL, RCB looked quiet off-color, in comparison to their past performances. And as you may ask, why? Why weren’t RCB the dominating team that literally stormed into the finals in IPL 2011? Let me list some of the causes that made RCB such a dominating team then:

  1. Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli were in the form of their lives, and were literally scoring runs at will
  2.  Sreenath Aravind was picking up wickets at a superb rate
  3.  Both Gayle and Kohli could bowl at least 3 overs apiece, which allowed RCB to be a little flexible with their bowling.

And now let me list what happened in 2012:

  1.  Kohli’s batting form was below average, more depended on Gayle and AB de Villiers.
  2.  Neither Gayle nor Kohli was trustworthy with the ball.
  3.  5th bowlers were not doing well.

And because of these factors, RCB were forced to put Dilshan on the top of the order to maintain the batting stability, and play Muralitharan instead of Vettori to boost the bowling. And that caused an extended tail, without an all-rounder. In the end, that was what led to their drop out of IPL 2012.

So now onto who they should buy. The RCB squad is in desperate need of an Indian all-rounder, or at least a batsman who can bowl. However, Indian all-rounders will be difficult to come because of the fact that they are all-rounders, and can be played without any hindrance to the 4-overseas players rule. Still, if they can lay their hands on someone like Venugopal Rao or Abhisheik Nayar. Both of these players were released by their respective franchises, but come with batting skills and an ability to bowl at least  1 or 2 overs. However, there is one other simple option. Give more opportunities to Andrew McDonald. The guy impressed with the bat, and did extremely well with the ball, taking 5 wickets in the 3 games he got. To play him, RCB could try leaving out Muttiah Muralitharan, but with the risk of leaving their spin department vulnerable. To fix that, someone like Ramesh Powar might help. With Abhinav Mukund, Sunny Sohal, and Cheteshwar Pujara in the side, leaving out Dilshan is also an option, though. And to bolster the fast bowling unit, RP Singh and Lowano Tsotsobe will be excellent options.

Potential Squad:

  • Chris Gayle
  • Cheteshwar Pujara
  • Virat Kohli (c)
  • Andrew McDonald
  • AB de Villiers (wk) 
  • Abhisheik Nayar 
  • Mayank Agarwal
  • Vinay Kumar
  • Syed Mohammed
  • Zaheer Khan
  • Muttiah Muralitharan

Notes:

  • If an extra fast bowler is needed, Vettori in for Muralitharan, and RP Singh comes in for Nayar/Agarwal (if overseas, Tsotsobe comes in for Murali, and Vettori comes in for McDonald)
  • If extra spinner is needed, Vettori comes in for McDonald 
  • If extra batsman is needed, Dilshan comes in for Vinay and Vettori comes in for Murali)