IPL 2019: 3 Bowlers that RCB could target at the auction
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have been the perennial underperformers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with always one of the most star-studded lineups that look great on paper but fails to maintain a sense of consistency in their campaign.
While the batting had a sense of semblance at the fag end of IPL 2018, with Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel opening the batting and AB De Villiers at number 3, their bowling, or a lack thereof, was a cause of major concern after failing to defend 170+ totals on 3 occasions in the last season.
This is the prime reason why RCB has retained 7 specialist bowlers (or bowling all-rounders) and 5 all-rounders, including the traded in Marcus Stoinis. Although the likes of Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, and even Nathan Coulter-Nile are no doubt world-class bowlers in all formats of the game, they lack the skill-set to operate economically in the death overs of an innings.
RCB are in dire need of a death-over specialist to choke the oppositions' batting and save them some crucial runs to turn the match in their favour.
Here are some options* for them at 2019 Auctions.
*Note: Mitchell Starc hasn't been included in the list despite being one of international cricket's top bowler as he has been missing from T20s, international as well as domestic competitions, since after the 2016 season.
#3 Ben Laughlin
Ben Laughlin came into the IPL 2018 auction with a reputation of being a death-overs specialist with his successful exploits in the Big Bash League (BBL) and the New Zealand Super Smash League.
The Victoria-born, right-arm fast medium bowler ended up playing 7 matches for the Rajasthan Royals and finished with 9 wickets at an economy of 10.12 and a best of 2 for 15 against the RCB.
At the age of 36, he doesn't have much cricket left in him, but he has shown in T20 leagues around the world, that he can be lethal in choking in the oppositions' batsmen if given the right opportunities and a consistent run.
He was the joint second highest wicket-taker in BBL 2017-18 with 16 wickets from 12 innings at an economy rate of 8.36. If he shows the same form in the 2018-19 BBL starting from the December 18, then he surely would be a hot property at next year's IPL auctions.