If there's one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb when talking about Bangalore, it's the lack of an Indian T20 League title despite having some truly iconic names play for them over the years.
Today, we'll be looking into one of the reasons behind that vacuum - Bangalore's inability to properly manage and hold on to players with mile-high potentials, who then end up joining teams that can.
Here are five players Bangalore could have made better use of but instead, they slipped away to add value to other teams:
Rahul Dravid was the inaugural captain for the Bangalore squad in the Indian T20 League. However, while there were a few crucial performances by ‘The Wall’, it was hardly a tenure befitting the legend of the man and he was let go after the 2010 edition when he was quickly snapped up by Rajasthan. Like a switch had been flipped, Dravid was in full offensive mode at his new home, becoming the highest run-scorer for the squad in 2011, racking up 343 runs from 12 innings. Following his retirement from playing duties in 2012, Dravid went on to serve as a mentor, scouting new talent for Rajasthan, one of them being Sanju Samson who has impressed at the opening of the ongoing edition.
It was not a pleasant time for the Bangalore faithful when during the 2018 auctions, it was revealed the KL Rahul would not be part of their plans going forward. Aside from the fact that he was a Karnataka native, he was regarded by many as the next big thing. That was backed up by a large number of bidders for Rahul, among whom Punjab won the deal for his services. Free from the shackles of the middle-order that binded him at Bangalore, Rahul let rip at the top at Punjab, as he went on to high-score for his new squad, with 659 and 593 runs respectively in the first two seasons, and as of this writing, he leads the Orange Cap standings in the 2020 edition.
After playing for Kolkata since the league’s inaugural season in 2008, Chris Gayle flew south to Bangalore. While the ‘Universe Boss’ put out some explosive performances in the first few years of the partnership, they started tapering off by 2016 and after a particularly unimpressive 2017 (more so by his standards), Bangalore let him go, with age and fitness reportedly being additional concerns for the team.
However, he found a saviour in Punjab during the 2018 auctions, and he repaid them by scoring 368 runs in 11 innings at an average of 40.88, throwing in a century for good measure. He padded that form in 2019 with nearly 500 runs, while Bangalore, still seeking their first-ever title to this date, were left to wonder what might have been.
Part of the Rajasthan squad since the inaugural season, Shane Watson spent a productive eight-year stint with them before heading to Bangalore in 2016 for a princely sum of INR 9.5 crore. However, while Bangalore were hoping he'd bolster the middle order, those plans remained stuck in treacle, as Watson only hauled 179 runs in 16 matches. However, he did manage to enhance Rajasthan's lacklustre bowling attack at the time, bagging 20 scalps, only for it to all to fall apart in the final, with Ben Cutting scoring 24 runs off Watson in the final over.
After another torrid season in 2017, his time at Bangalore had run out and it was on to Chennai, who held the key that unlocked his full potential. After scoring 555 in 15 matches, including an unbeaten 117 in the finals that won them the title, Watson followed it up with another decent showing in 2019 (398 runs from 17 matches).
Quinton de Kock
After finishing out his stint with Delhi with a productive 2016 (445 runs from 13 matches), wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock joined Bangalore in 2018. However, it was not the knockout season that they were expecting from him and he was shipped to Mumbai in a transfer deal for the following season, where he soon began to prove what a mistake that was for Bangalore. He was Mumbai's top run-scorer in 2019 (529 from 16 innings) and there has been no looking back since for de Kock.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Punit Paranjpe