Another season went by for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, where they entered the tournament with a lot of hype but did very little to live up to that. Life has been pretty difficult for them in the tournament in the last three editions, failing to make it to the final four since 2016. They finished on the bottom twice in the last three seasons, which sums up their horrendous run.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have been overburdened by expectations ever since the pair got together at this club. They once had Chris Gayle to contribute on occasion but in the last couple of seasons, the onus has lied completely on them to do well. Is there anything they can do to change their fate? Perhaps yes and that process should begin at the auction table.
They perhaps need a couple of solid Indian batsmen to strengthen their middle order and the availability of Robin Uthappa could be a big boost. Besides that, they need one marquee overseas bowler, who can form a deadly combination alongside Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav and perhaps Mohammed Siraj.
Their fans have remained pretty loyal and have been very patiently waiting for them to explode in the tournament. This is a huge auction for the club, who released 12 players from their main squad and will be keen to bring in a lot of reinforcements. Here is a list of three Indian cricketers who they could be targeted on December 19th.
1. Rohan Kadam
The leading run-scorer of the 2018-19 edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, Rohan Kadam once again chipped in with a strong performance for Karnataka in the tournament. His surreal consistency is bound to get a reward and the big question is, can Royal Challengers get the 25-year-old for a desired price?
In what is turning out to be a stellar outing for Karnataka in the domestic circuit, Rohan Kadam is consistently chipping in with big scores coming in at number 4 and number 5. If he can do the same for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, it could tick a very important box for them.
He scored 223 runs in the 7 games he played, which do not really give the true picture of how amazing he has been. His average is in excess of 44 and also has an impressive strike rate of 144. Rohan Kadam could be the man they have been hunting for so long and he will relish sharing the finishing responsibilities with the likes of Washington Sundar, Moeen Ali and AB de Villiers.
2. Sai Kishore
One of the most impressive bowlers in the Indian domestic circuit currently, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore wrecked havoc with his left-arm spin this season and partnered wonderfully well with M Siddarth. He was Tamil Nadu’s leading wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy and is also the leading wicket-taker in the Syed Mushtaq Ali this edition, with 20 scalps to his name.
Not a lot of Indian bowlers found success at the Chinnaswamy, especially while playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Virat Kohli needs some backup options for Washington Sundar, given he has some long-term plans with the Hyderabadi speedster. Sai Kishore could fit into this side quite brilliantly and could bring a certain X-Factor in the bowling attack.
Besides playing in the TNPL and KPL, Sai Kishore hasn’t earned an IPL contract as yet in his career and it will be difficult for franchises to ignore him this time. The 23-year-old can bowl effectively with the new ball and maybe this is the new formula for Kohli to stem the run flow at their fortress, going with two spinners who can control runs at will (Kishore and Sundar).
3. Deepak Hooda
The Sunrisers Hyderabad persisted with Deepak Hooda for so long and finally, their patience came to an end. They released him into the auction after keeping hold of him for four seasons and now, the all-rounder needs some fresh air in the IPL to commence new beginnings. Deepak Hooda definitely has the talent to do something big, but has lacked composure.
Once again, he had a terrific List-A and T20 outing in the domestic circuit, scoring a lot of runs and also picking up some vital wickets. The pattern has been too predictable with the Baroda man, which in a way is scary for him. How will he benefit with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, or how will the franchise benefit from buying him?
Although he played predominantly at number 3 and 4 for Baroda in the last couple of years, he a pinch hitter who will relish batting at the Chinnaswamy regularly. Having an extra part-time bowling option is always welcomed in Bangalore, considering how bad some days could get for the best of bowlers. He tends to bowl a little quicker than most off-break bowlers and his variations could work some tricks for the franchise.