Barring Sarfaraz Khan’s name, the list of retained players for Royal Challengers Bangalore did not bear any surprise. The three-time finalists, on Thursday (January 4), kept their skipper Virat Kohli and South Africa star AB de Villiers.
But at the same time, they sprung a big surprise by not retaining the likes of Chris Gayle, KL Rahul and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Well, the team will have the option to buy some of their players at the auction with Right To Match (RTM) cards. According to the retention policy, the franchises can retain a maximum of five players by a combination of player retention and right-to-match (RTM) cards (during the auction). But while time will tell whether the Bangalore-based franchise buys back their old players or not, they will be looking to buy some top names in the upcoming auction.
So here we are taking a look at the five players the Royal Challengers should target:
5. Pat Cummins:
Bowling has always been a big worry for the Bangalore-based franchise. The fact that they had spent a whopping Rs 12 crore on Tymal Mills last year pretty much proves their desperation to bolster the attack.
They will be eyeing some quality fast-bowlers once again in the upcoming auction and Australian speedster Pat Cummins might be a good option for a them.
The right-arm pacer has been bowling with pace and intent ever since returning to international cricket after recovering from his injury. He has also proved his mettle on Indian pitches, having done really well in the Test series last year.
4. Ben Stokes:
If there is one player which every franchise would love to have it, then it has to be England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes. If fast-bowling all-rounders are considered as assets in the shortest format of the game, then it is safe to say that Stokes is one of the most, if not the most precious assets in world cricket now.
He was bought for a record Rs 14,5 crores last season and he repaid every single penny of it. In his inaugural season last year, he picked scored 316 runs including a century and picked up 12 wickets in 12 games to bag the award for the Most Valuable Player.
Bangalore had always struggled with their middle-order and Stokes can be one of the best options for them. The England ace’s bowling and electric fielding only adds to the temptation to go all out for him.
3. Yuzvendra Chahal:
Royal Challengers’ decision to not retain Yuzvendra Chahal has baffled many especially after considering the past seasons where they have always struggled with their bowling.
Chahal has emerged as India’s go-to man in the limited-overs format with his consistent performances and is one of the most sought-after spinners in the world at the moment.
Well, Royal Challengers will have an option to buy him at the auction through the RTM card and
2. Quinton de Kock:
For the slot of the wicketkeeper-batsman, the Royal Challengers can go for South Africa’s number one keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock. The southpaw’s fearless striking and handy abilities with the gloves have earned him comparisons to greats of the game like Adam Gilchrist and Mark Boucher.
His performance in the IPL has also been impressive. He did not play last year but had made a huge impression in 2016. After being named in the ICC’s team of the tournament following his impressive performance in the World T20 held in India, he scored 445 runs in 13 games for Delhi Daredevils including a century to finish as their top-scorer.
De Kock can give Bangalore the much-needed solidarity and Royal Challengers’ should go for him if they are looking to buy a quality gloveman.
1. Shikhar Dhawan:
With Chris Gayle not retained seemingly because of his age and inconsistent form over the last one year or so, Royal Challengers will be on the look-out for an opening batsman and they will find very few options better than Shikhar Dhawan.
The India opener needs no introduction and his current form is set to make him one of the hottest properties.