One Indian Premier League franchise that truly needed an intervention like the upcoming mega auction is Royal Challengers Bangalore. The most obvious reason remains the lack of a trophy in the past decade and a half, but the parting of AB de Villiers from the league and with Virat Kohli deciding to step down as captain of the team, there is work to be done.
The eight franchises were allowed to keep up to four players with a total salary cap of Rs 90 crore available at the mega auction for each team, with a maximum of three Indians, two overseas players, and two uncapped Indians. Royal Challengers Bangalore is one among the three teams besides Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals to have used the Player Retention option for three players.
The silver lining for RCB remains that the franchise has the opportunity to start afresh and the early signs are that they’re on the right track, having identified a solid core in Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Mohammad Siraj.
For the Bengaluru-based outfit, the primary challenges are finding an able successor for Kohli and building a side that is far more balanced. The biggest criticisms about RCB in the tournament was its overdependence on the Kohli-de Villiers duo, prioritising a top-heavy batting line-up and not having a bowling spearhead. With their remaining purse of Rs 57 Cr, they will be looking to right those wrongs.
Now that the batting duo is separated and Siraj has grown into becoming able enough to lead the bowling attack, the management can be expected to acquire the services of batters and bowlers who will complement the style of Kohli, Maxwell and Siraj and not be mere supporting acts per se. In any case, the key for the RCB at the auction table will be to find the balance that has eluded their squad since the inception of the league.
Additionally, the franchise’s decision to not retain their leading wicket-taker Yuzvendra Chahal means they will also need an ace spinner to take charge of things in the spin department.
Players retained by RCB and their values
|Virat Kohli||Indian||Rs 15 Cr|
|Glenn Maxwell||Overseas||Rs 11 Cr|
|Mohammad Siraj||Indian||Rs 7 Cr|
RCB IPL history
|2013|| League stage|
Recent auction history: Hit or miss?
The Royal Challengers Bangalore have had a tendency of breaking the bank for the most hyped players of the year, only to end up disappointed when they do not meet expectations. However, since Diageo took over the management and since the arrival of Mike Hesson in to the set-up, things have started to look up for the franchise.
Their investment in Siraj in 2018 worked wonders for them and the bowler himself. They also did well to acquire the services of Karnataka’s own Devdutt Padikkal who showed promise during his time with the franchise. In the last two years, they have been able to restrain themselves in the auction by not ‘overpaying’ per se but have still found themselves unable to maximise the value of players they sent big bucks on, namely Chris Morris, Kyle Jamieson, Shivam Dube and Dan Christian.
Hesson seemed to have taken an interest in scouting local talent and while RCB did add the likes of promising domestic stars such as Devdutt Padikkal, Shahbaz Ahmed, Rajat Patidar, Suyash Prabhudessai and Mohammad Azharudeen to their squad, the team still continued to ride on the success of de Villiers, Kohli and Maxwell. While the thinking seemed to be right in that department, the management will look to add as many quality players from the domestic pool, from a long-term investment point of view.
Any off-season changes since IPL 2021?
Former Team India batting coach Sanjay Bangar, who was the batting consultant for RCB during IPL 2021, will take over as the head coach of the Indian Premier League franchise for the next two years. Bangar will replace former Australia opener Simon Katich in that role. Mike Hesson, who seems to have made some significant changes in the team culture since his arrival, will continue as the Director of Cricket.
And it goes without saying, that one of the biggest off-season news remained the resignation, resignation, sacking and resignation of Virat Kohli in the IPL and international cricket. The other was de Villiers’ retirement from all forms of cricket, which effectively put an end to his playing career with RCB.
With the fifteenth edition, the Indian Premier League will usher in a new era, with a new title sponsor, two new teams and a major overhaul of the existing teams but it will also mark the end of an era for RCB and perhaps, the beginning of a new one... perhaps, a title-winning one.
Who’s saying what
“If Virat Kohli can take over the captaincy and if he is happy to do it and if he has the energy to do it, I think that will be the easiest solution for them. At the end of the day, we have seen RCB over the years haven’t invested enough money in making a proper team of 12, 13 or 14 players with enough depth,” former Team India pacer Ajit Agarkar said on Star Sports show ‘Game Plan IPL Auction Special’.
Overall purse remaining for all 10 teams
|Franchisee||Salary cap remaining (Rs cr)||Open player slots||Open overseas player slots|
|Chennai Super Kings||48||21||7|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||48||21||6|
|Lucknow Super Giants||59||22||7|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||57||22||7|