The Royal Challengers Bangalore were one of the form teams of IPL 2021. Their new acquisitions in the form of Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson paid off. The inclusion of Harshal Patel proved to be decisive. The rise of Mohammad Siraj and the maturity of Devdutt Padikkal augurs well for the side. But what RCB lack is a strong Indian batting core in the middle-order. RCB’s over-dependence on AB de Villiers might not hold value in the future. Hence RCB must focus on nurturing young talent into the squad.
Let’s look at 5 youngsters whom RCB should be looking to target at the 2022 IPL mega auction:
#5 Rahul Tewatia
Rahul Tewatia was one of the standout stories of IPL 2020. He proved to be an ace finisher, a gun fielder, and a utility bowler. Tewatia has had a middling season in IPL 2021. RR may not be able to retain Tewatia for the price they brought him in. This opens up an opportunity for RCB to target him in the auctions. If RCB manage to buy him then the absence of a lower order allrounder will be fixed. He is an ideal fit.
#4 Nitish Rana
Nitish Rana has been threatening to have a breakthrough year for the past couple of seasons. He had a wonderful couple of seasons with MI. Rana has had an impactful stint with KKR too. But KKR might not retain Rana in the next season. RCB may hence target buying Rana in the auctions. He will fill in beautifully at number 3 and provide solidity to the batting lineup.
#3 Riyan Parag
Riyan Parag is one player who always stays in the game. He bats in the top order when needed. Royals have anointed Parag as their designated finisher this year. He can even roll his arm over for a couple of overs. But since Royals will be spoilt for choices to retain next year, Parag may well be available in the auctions. This provides RCB a great opportunity to hire his services and groom him into a star player.
#2 Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan was one of MI’s star performers in their title-winning campaign in 2020. He scored 516 runs at an average of 57.33 and struck them at a wonderful strike rate (145). Mumbai Indians surpassingly benched Kishan after a couple of poor outings. It is an indication that he might not be retained by MI next year. This throws open a wonderful opportunity for RCB to acquire Kishan in the next auction. RCB desperately need a solid young Indian batter at number 3 or 4. Kishan perfectly fits the bill.
#1 Pat Cummins
KKR sought Pat Cummins for a record signing of INR 15.5 crores in IPL 20219. Cummins hasn’t really set the stage on fire for KKR in both seasons. There is a high possibility of KKR not retaining Cummins heading into the mega auctions. RCB on the other hand may look to release Kyle Jamieson and target someone like Cummins who fills the gap beautifully. His hitting prowess adds another dimension and RCB will love to have a leader like him in the squad.