Just like every season, fans of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would be expecting their favourite team to lift the coveted trophy in 2021. The three-time IPL runners-up had a good outing in the previous edition held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
After three consecutive substandard seasons, the Challengers were in the playoffs in the IPL 2020. However, RCB finished as the fourth-best team in that tournament.
Ahead of the upcoming auctions, the Bangalore-based franchise has released as many as 10 players. They released the likes of Chris Morris, Shivam Dube, Aaron Finch, Umesh Yadav, Dale Steyn, Moeen Ali, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Isuru Udana and Gurkeerat Mann.
Now, RCB have 13 slots left, including four foreigners. Hence they will be busy in the IPL 2021 auction as they have to fulfil many spots in their squad. The Virat Kohli-led side has included Daniel Sams and Harshal Patel through the trading window.
Let’s have a look at four players RCB can bid for in IPL 2021 auctions:
1.) Alex Carey
Australian wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey was released by Delhi Capitals (DC) ahead of the upcoming auction. He only played three matches in the previous season, scoring 32 runs at a strike-rate of 110.
However, in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21, Carey silenced his critics after smashing a fantastic 60-ball century against Brisbane Heat. As his team is now out of the competition, the attacking left-handed batsman has finished BBL 10 with 425 runs from 13 games at a strike-rate of 122 with one hundred and two half-centuries.
Although, RCB has Josh Philippe in the squad, but they need a proper wicketkeeper-batsman who is much more attacking than Josh and Carey fit that role perfectly.
2.) Steven Smith
The only captain who has been released ahead of IPL 2021 auctions is Steve Smith. He led Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the thirteenth season of the lucrative league but couldn’t perform with the bat and looked clueless as a leader as well.
In 14 matches last season, Smith scored 311 runs at an average of 25.91 with three fifties. Royals finished at the bottom in the points table in IPL 2020, winning only 6 of their 14 matches.
Even though Smith isn’t expected to attract a lot of money, his international cricket credentials cannot be ignored. RCB is quite largely dependent on Kohli and AB de Villiers, so they need a proper middle-order batsman, and Smith can be a good option.
3.) Chris morris
South African all-rounder Chris Morris was roped in by RCB for INR 10 crore in IPL 2020. But an injury prevented him from playing all the matches in the previous season. He picked up 11 wickets and scored 34 runs from 9 games.
Considering his all-round ability, there is no doubt that Morris can once again emerge as one of the highest-paid in the upcoming auction.
Overall, Morris has played 218 T20s and scored 1764 runs at a strike-rate of 151 with three half-centuries. The right-armer has also taken 270 wickets in the shortest format with 4/9 being his best.
4.) Kyle Jamieson
New Zealand young sensation Kyle Jamieson has impressed everyone with his supreme rise in international. After making his Test debut against India, Jamieson hasn’t looked back and contributed with both bat and ball.
In six Tests so far, Jamieson has taken as many as 36 wickets at a remarkable average of 13.27. The 26-year-old hasn’t played many white-ball matches so far, but his all-round aptitudes could certainly attract several IPL franchises.
The Auckland-lad has played 37 T20s so far, scoring 173 runs at a strike-rate of 133. When it comes to bowling, he has picked up 54 wickets with 6/7 being his best.