Being a Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) fan is tough. You see all those big names on paper and get excited. But the team performance later in the tournament takes no time to 'chokeslam' you back on the ground.
Last year RCB were in the bottom of the points table because their valuable players failed to fire. This shows their over-dependence on them. If you go through RCB's team last year, you could clearly see an imbalance in the side throughout the season.
It's not only about the batting line-up, even their bowling line has also shown lack of intent. Bangalore never looked safe with any score under their belt.
Last year in Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Bangalore, Samuel Badree ran through the MI batting line-up. But as soon his quota was over, Mumbai didn't find any trouble chasing the target despite being 4 down on just 7 runs.
RCB has retained Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and young Sarfaraz Khan. Now they are left with 49 crores in their purse and a couple of Right To Match (RTM) cards for auction. They can use one RTM on the Indian capped player and foreign player each.
Here are the five players RCB should prefer first:
Yuzvendra Chahal should be an easy and undoubtable pick for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The leggie has been in a fine form lately and has evolved a lot since he first brkoe onto the scene and can be a big buy for RCB.
Chahal averaged just 17.78 and had an economy under 8 last year. RCB missed a trick by not retaining him and letting him go into the auction pool.
The leg-spinner possesses threat with his variety and smartness with the ball. Also, Virat Kohli has used him effectively for better results.
KL Rahul is exactly what Bangalore needs in the opening slot. He can play shots in the powerplay and can also improvise when needed. With Chris Gayle not firing regularly and his inability to rotate strike, RCB has suffered a lot last year.
Rahul is a good package for the Kohli-led team. The Karnataka batsman has played only 8 T20Is to score 454 runs with an average of 56.75. In those 8 matches, he has 3 half-centuries and a ton. And he can keep wickets as well.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore and fast bowler Mitchell Starc had mutually decided to discontinue their association ahead of the IPL 2017.
This means RCB will not be able to RTM Starc in the upcoming auction. Bangalore lacks a leader in their bowling attack and Starc can be that leader easily.
Starc has the ability to run through any batting line-up with slight help of pitch. If not pitch, he still has enough pace to dig into the batsman. RCB has struggled to find the right set of bowlers and getting Mitchell Starc in the side, they have hope.
However, Starc has not played a T20 in last one year. But that doesn't need to back his ability.
The West Indian batsman Evin Lewis, who sees Chris Gayle as his mentor can be a good replacement for him. Lewis had a stunning season in Bangladesh Premier League. It is worth considering as it was played on Indian subcontinent pitches.
The opener had scored 396 runs with a strike rate of 159.03 and an average of 36. He has smashed two hundreds in T20I and both were against Indian bowling attack.
Lewis has the ability to take the game away in a chase. Flourishing innings in the top can be helpful in T20s to snatch the game and run away.
Ben Stokes is the need of the hour for Royal Challengers Bangalore. If they won't mind splurging a little far for him, RCB needs to buy him in the auction.
He will add a much-needed balance to the side. RCB has always been dependent on the top order in batting. With Stokes' in the lower order, it was a boon for them both bat and ball.
The only problem with Ben is the high price tag with his name. However, we have seen RCB spending a lot on individuals and this gives a hope that they might get him.
If Bangalore buys all the five players in our list -- this means on the opening spot they will have KL Rahul and Elvin Lewis, on number three skipper Kohli and in middle order they get De Villiers with Ben Stokes backing him in the lower order.