Bangalore have been the perennial underachievers in the Indian T20 League over the years. The Bengaluru-based franchise has had some outstanding players over the years but have made grave blunders in the auction and in the pre-auction released and trades. Here are four players they should not have released from their ranks.
The dynamic KL Rahul was used in a middle-order role in the Bangalore setup which had Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, Shane Watson and AB de Villiers in the top-order. In the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Rahul was an influential player in the Bangalore ranks, making vital contributions from the middle. He was the keeper in the side and made five half-centuries that season. For the 2018 season, Bangalore surprisingly chose to retain Sarfaraz Khan ahead of Rahul. At Punjab, Rahul has been outrageous so far at the top of the batting order.
It was surprising that Chris Gayle wasn't retained by Bangalore ahead of the 2018 IPL season. The big West Indies opener is a no-brainer in any T20 side and his returns were nothing less than spectacular for Bangalore. Bangalore used up Gayle's potential to the fullest and the small Chinnaswamy Stadium was ideal for Gayle's big-hitting. However, his surprise non-retention benefitted Punjab who got Rahul - Gayle at the top of the order.
It is true that Nathan Coulter-Nile's career never took off well at Bangalore. But a lusty lower-order hitter and a good powerplay bowler, Coulter-Nile is a terrific T20 player and in a side that lacks quality bowling options and all-rounders, the Australian would have been a perfect fit. But Bangalore chose to release him after he missed games in 2018 and 2019 owing to injury only for Mumbai to snap him up for a big fee in the recent auctions.
The young West Indian middle-order batsman is a revelation in T20 cricket and was purchased by Bangalore for Rs 4.2 crores in 2019. The hard-hitting youngster wasn't quite used well by the franchise and had a poor season. He did, however, end the year with a swashbuckling knock of 75 in 47 balls against Hyderabad. But Bangalore chose to not retain him for the 2020 season and Delhi picked him up for a good fee. In the interim, Hetmyer had a terrific series in India, scoring runs against spinners at will and winning the Windies an ODI in Chennai. His release is one that Bangalore will likely regret.
Image courtesy: AFP/ Punit Paranjpe