Indian Premier League (IPL) side RCB have a crucial season ahead of them as they seek a new direction. After IPL 2021, Virat Kohli stepped down as the captain before the franchise went on to retain just three players. RCB had a decent IPL 2022 auction, but somehow things still look the same with them. Not retaining Devdutt Padikkal and Yuzvendra Chahal were big decisions, and the two moved elsewhere in the auction. RCB look like a side who are thin on batting and lack depth on the bench.
The big move for RCB in the auction was to get an experienced and proven name in the form of Faf du Plessis. They also got back Harshal Patel, who won the prestigious Purple Cap last season. Wanindu Hasaranga is someone RCB have laid a lot of trust upon. Another key player RCB managed to rope in was Australian pacer, Josh Hazlewood. RCB are also likely to name Maxwell as their new skipper. Faf has an outside chance.
One hopes RCB can turn things around but looking at them, one may wonder. Here are the complete details regarding RCB.
The players RCB had retained
With the IPL set to be a 10-team affair, the existing teams had an opportunity to retain at least four players ahead of the auction. The Royal Challengers Bangalore retained Virat Kohli for Rs 15 crore, Glenn Maxwell for Rs 11 crore, and took a gamble on Mohammed Siraj for Rs 7 crore. They entered the auction with a purse of Rs 57 crore.
Key picks for RCB in the IPL 2022 auction
RCB shelled out Rs 10.75 crore each for Harshal and Hasaranga. Both players have a crucial task in order to put up consistent shows. Rs 7 crore was spent behind Faf, who was a revelation for CSK of late and helped them win the IPL 2021 title. Another Rs 7.75 crore was spent behind Hazlewood, who has stepped up in the shortest format of late.
A look at the complete RCB squad:
Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammad Siraj, Faf du Plessis, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik, Josh Hazlewood, Shahbaz Ahmed, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Sherfane Rutherford, Jason Behrendorff, Suyash Prabhudessai, Chama Milind, Aneeshwar Gautam, Siddarth Kaul, Luvnith Sisodia, David Willey.
What can be RCB’s playing XI?
1) Faf du Plessis: The Proteas ace has achieved a lot in the game and is a household name across global T20 leagues. The former SA skipper is an established figure in the IPL, having achieved so much for Chennai. He can not only give RCB the desired scores upfront but will also help the youngsters learn a lot.
2) Virat Kohli: The former RCB skipper will aim to showcase his strengths once again for the franchise. Kohli, who is also no longer India’s captain, will get more time to focus on his batting. IPL’s highest scorer, Kohli, is a legend and once again, RCB will ride on his shoulders given there is no AB de Villiers, who retired from the sport.
3) Mahipal Lomror: The batting all-rounder from Rajasthan can come in at the top-order given the structure of this RCB side. Lomror got scores of 32 and 79 for Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy against Andhra, helping his side win last week. He has to make sure that pressure can be absorbed in a crucial number three position in the IPL.
4) Glenn Maxwell: The Aussie superstar has been in form of late. Maxwell had a strong 2021 season for RCB, scoring 513 runs at 42.75. He had a good outing for the Aussies in the recently concluded T20Is versus Sri Lanka. Maxwell will have added responsibility, given he may be named as RCB’s skipper. He had a good BBL 2021-22 season too.
5) Anuj Rawat: The 22-year-old from Uttarakhand plays for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy. Anuj is a wicket-keeper batter who is filled with potential. He was part of RR earlier but didn’t get many opportunities. He had a good List A performance for Delhi in December 2021. RCB will hope he can contribute this season.
6) Dinesh Karthik: The veteran T20 stalwart comes back to the RCB after spending the last few seasons with KKR. Karthik will be seen as RCB’s finisher, and he will still look to use his experience and quality as a cricketer. Karthik will want to show why RCB went out for him by making a difference.
7) Shahbaz Ahmed: The all-rounder has a key season ahead of him. He is a rising player, and there is a lot of buzz around. The Haryana cricketer, who plays for Bengal, has scored 293 runs in T20s, besides racking up a total of 35 scalps from 40 matches.
8) Wanindu Hasaranga: The Sri Lankan all-rounder is a class act and has made a superb rise in the game. He is one of the best spinners at the moment and can also contribute soundly with the bat. Hasaranga made his IPL debut last season for RCB in the second phase. He will be a star attraction for the franchise.
9) Harshal Patel: The former Delhi Capitals bowler was exceptional for RCB last season, claiming the Purple Cap. That saw him get a ticket to the Indian cricket team, where he has done a decent job so far. Harshal will eye another good season for the RCB, keeping in mind the T20 World Cup later this year.
10) Josh Hazlewood: The Aussie star did a reasonable job for CSK last season, helping them win the IPL. Hazlewood has also climbed up the charts in the ICC T20I Rankings, helping Australia dominate the show versus Sri Lanka. Hazlewood will lead the RCB attack, and his accuracy would be immense.
11) Mohammed Siraj: The Indian pacer will need to be at his best after RCB retained him. Siraj has shown a lot of quality and character for India in Tests, and he will need to perform on a similar note in the shortest format as well. Siraj claimed 11 wickets each in IPL 2020 and 2021, respectively. He needs to better the tally.