IPL Auction 2022, RCB analysis: Bowling-heavy auction strategy leaves team’s batting unit pretty light – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Unlike some of the other teams, the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s auctions are always filled with surprises. They often have a plan up their sleeves but aren’t too averse to trying out something funky, just to see if it will click in the long run.

The 2022 iteration wasn’t any different for RCB. There were a few smart buys but there were also passages where their desperation was laid bare for everyone to witness. They tried to retain as much of their core as possible but were unable to do so.

Harshal Patel was signed again by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 10.75 crore. Image: Sportzpics for IPL

Prior to the auction, no bones had been made about their intent to sign a prospective captain. Shreyas Iyer’s name did the round countless times but RCB were priced out of that deal. Their attention then turned towards Faf du Plessis, who was reluctantly let go by CSK. With du Plessis in the RCB ranks, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he is appointed the skipper of the franchise.

There were also extraordinary splurges on Harshal Patel and Wanindu Hasaranga, despite the pair enjoying contrasting seasons at RCB in 2021. While the former ran away with the Purple Cap, the latter hardly featured. And when Hasaranga played, he didn’t do enough to set the pulses racing.

Apart from that, RCB were one of the more active teams on the first day of the auction. They almost bid for every top cricketer available and kept their fan base and the rest of the auction room guessing. In that process, they laid their hands on Josh Hazlewood and Shahbaz Ahmed.

However, owing to their propensity to spend big, RCB left themselves a little short of cash on day two of the auction, meaning that they couldn’t bring any substantial players on board. David Willey, Finn Allen and Sherfane Rutherford came through the door but neither will, in all likelihood, be a part of their first-choice playing eleven.

Their pursuits of Anuj Rawat and Dinesh Karthik, in particular, stuck out. Both might not play together and cumulatively cost around INR 9 crore – money that could’ve been used to buy a top-quality middle-order Indian batter.

Royal Challengers Bangalore squad

Foreign batters: Faf du Plessis and Finn Allen

Indian batter: Virat Kohli

Indian wicket-keepers: Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik and Luvnith Sisodia

Foreign all-rounders: David Willey, Glenn Maxwell, Sherfane Rutherford and Wanindu Hasaranga

Indian all-rounders: Aneeshwar Gautam, Harshal Patel, Mahipal Lomror, Shahbaz Ahmed, Suyash Prabhudessai

Foreign fast bowlers: Josh Hazlewood, Jason Behrendorff

Indian fast bowlers: Akash Deep, Chama Milind, Mohammed Siraj and Siddharth Kaul

Indian spinner: Karn Sharma

Strong area: RCB have assembled an excellent bowling unit, which comprises of proven IPL talents. Hasaranga is still a relatively unknown commodity and could be a massive game-changer this season. Harshal Patel and Siraj are excellent options at the death, whereas Hazlewood is a genuine wicket-taker with the new ball.

Area of concern: Over the years, RCB have always had at least three world-class batters. This time too, they boast batters of du Plessis, Kohli and Maxwell’s ilk. Apart from that, though, they are clutching at straws.

Hasaranga is inconsistent as a batter and none of the other options would really make an opposition bowling line-up shudder. Their blend of youth and experience could come to the party when the IPL begins but the lack of batting resources feels like a missed opportunity.

Best buy: Faf du Plessis (INR 7 crore)

Worst buy: Dinesh Karthik (INR 5.5 crore)

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