Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) purchased 19 players over two days at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auction in Bengaluru. They now have a squad of 22 players heading into the IPL 2022 season. On expected lines, they bought back pacer Harshal Patel, who was the Purple Cap winner last season, for Rs 10.75 crore. The Bangalore franchise also purchased Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga for the same price. In addition, they went for Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood at Rs 7.75 crore, veteran South African batter Faf du Plessis at Rs 7 crore, and experienced wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik at Rs 5.50 crore. Here’s an analysis of RCB’s performance at the auction.
The Bangalore franchise did exceptionally well to purchase quite a few genuine match-winners. They were willing to shell out a few extra bucks, having retained only three players ahead of the auction – Virat Kohli (Rs 15 crore), Glenn Maxwell (Rs 11 crore), and Mohammed Siraj (Rs 7 crore). As such, they acquired the services of Faf du Plessis, who can be seen as a key player in the squad considering AB de Villiers’ retirement. Du Plessis can also open the innings with no Devdutt Padikkal in the squad. Last season, Du Plessis proved his worth for CSK with a stellar show.
In Harshal Patel and Josh Hazlewood, they have got two quality pacers. And, when you add Mohammed Siraj to the list, this becomes quite a formidable RCB pace bowling attack. Harshal has proved his credentials for RCB in no uncertain terms, and now he is also beginning to become a regular in the Indian team in T20Is. As for Hazlewood, he is a high-class performer who stood out for CSK as well as Australia last year in the IPL, followed by the T20 World Cup.
While RCB mostly did a good job at the auction, it seems they ended up picking a few players who are past their best. Dinesh Karthik was excellent at his peak, but spending Rs 5.50 crore for him at this stage of his career is perhaps a bit too much. Also, with the likes of Jason Behrendorff, Siddharth Kaul, and Karn Sharma being picked, the backup in the bowling department does not look all that strong. The minor questions apart though RCB were impressive with the way they went about their task.
Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga stands out as the X factor in the current RCB squad. The leg-spinner can bamboozle the best batters in business with his variations. Also, he can be called upon to bowl anytime and can be expected to deliver, considering the bag of tricks he has up his sleeve. He can bowl in the powerplay and claim early wickets. Hasaranga stamped his class on the T20 World Cup, finishing as the leading wicket-taker, a performance that included a hat-trick in a losing cause against South Africa.
Not only with the ball, but Hasaranga can make watch-winning contributions with the willow as well. He can be used as a floater in the batting order. The multifaceted cricketer has the strokes in his armory to find the big hits at crucial points in the game. On his day, he can also emerge a match-winner with the bat. RCB will be pleased to have acquired his services.
Although ABD is missing from the squad having retired, RCB look the strongest they have in years. Kohli, Maxwell, Siraj, Harshal, Hasaranga, Hazlewood, Plessis – these are seven outright game-changers.
RCB squad for IPL 2022: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Josh Hazlewood, Faf du Plessis, Dinesh Karthik, Anuj Rawat, Shahbaz Ahmed, David Willey, Sherfane Rutherford, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Jason Behrendorff, Siddharth Kaul, Karn Sharma, Suyash Prabhudessai, Chama Milind, Aneeshwar Gautam, Akash Deep, Luvnith Sisodia