The 2019 Indian T20 League season saw Bangalore and Rajasthan hit rock bottom after winning just five matches apiece in a 14-game long league. Both teams read huge on paper with quite a few prominent names in their ranks but had an underwhelming season as they failed to get going and win the big games. As the auction looms, the teams have a chance to revamp their sides and add more depth. Here we take a glance at their possible strategy this year.
Team: Ankit Rajpoot, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Sanju Samson, Shashank Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Steve Smith, Varun Aaron
Released players: Aryaman Birla, Ashton Turner, Ish Sodhi, Jaydev Unadkat, Liam Livingstone, Oshane Thomas, Prashant Chopra, Rahul Tripathi, Shubham Ranjane, Stuart Binny, Sudhesan Midhun
Slots to fill: 11 (four overseas)
Money remaining: Rs 28.90 Crore
Possible strategy: Rajasthan released Ajinkya Rahane, Liam Livingstone, Dhawal Kulkarni and a slew of other bench-warmers ahead of the auction. Their primary aim would be to back up the likes of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Steven Smith in the batting line-up and add a bit of oomph with their bowling attack.
Ankit Rajpoot is a decent signing for them and a good like-for-like replacement for Dhawal Kulkarni. By releasing Ish Sodhi and Ashton Turner, Rajasthan have opened their opportunities to find new finishers and a good overseas spinner.
The squad has decent depth and enough money with Jaydev Unadkat - an expensive pick - dispensed of. Their targets could include domestic pacers, overseas finishers and a few spinners.
Players who could be the radar: Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Kartik Tyagi, Mohit Sharma, Qais Ahmad
Team: AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Gurkeerat Singh, Moeen Ali, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, Virat Kohli, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal
Released players: Akshdeep Nath, Colin de Grandhomme, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klassen, Himmat Singh, Kulwant Khejroliya, Marcus Stoinis, Milind Kumar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Prayas Ray Barman, Shimron Hetmyer, Tim Southee
Enjoying the @RCBTweets fans input.....some have put a lot of thought in 👍🏻— Mike Hesson (@CoachHesson) December 14, 2019
- budget is 27.9 cr
- competing for the same players with 7 other teams
- don’t believe what any team says publicly prior to an auction 🤔
- #RCB aware of every match domestic/international 😊
Slots to fill: 12 (six overseas)
Money remaining: Rs 27.90 Crore
Possible strategy: Despite the kind of punch Bangalore can pack given the kind of players at their disposal, they have never managed to test the consistent sides and it will be this that they would want to iron out ahead of the IPL 2020.
The auction presents them another chance to not make mistakes and find utility players who can step up when the need arises. Bangalore released pacers Dale Steyn, Tim Southee, Coulter-Nile and Khejroliya and also left Marcus Stoinis, Colin de Grandhomme and Akshdeep Nath. A few Indian and overseas all-rounders in addition to good pacers will be on their radar.
With Kohli, Ab de Villiers, Moeen Ali and Devdutt Padikkal forming a potent top-order, Parthiv may have no place and a new wicket-keeper in the middle-order could also be on their agenda.
Players who could be the radar: Chris Lynn, Tom Banton, Chris Morris, Alex Carey, Blair Tickner, Kesrick Williams, Shimron Hetmyer (buy back), Satyajeet Bachhav, James Neesham
Feature image courtesy: AFP/ Money Sharma