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IPL 2020 Auction: 5 players RCB could look to sign ahead of the season

CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
Published 30 Nov 2019, 12:43 IST
30 Nov 2019, 12:43 IST

Return on the cards for Robin Uthappa?
Return on the cards for Robin Uthappa?

In this segment, we look at five underrated players whom the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) should sign to bolster their squad. RCB have always gone after big-name players, many of whom have failed to live up to expectations. Will a slightly different approach help?

In the past, RCB has always been guilty of losing from must-win positions. A lack of presence of mind in crunch situations has always hampered their chances of qualifying. In a given match, they start strong but are unable to maintain the same tempo until the end of the game. Mistakes with the bat, ball and on the field have always been their undoing.

Heading into this year's auction, RCB have retained 12 players, which includes only two overseas players in AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali. With the board bringing in new coaching set up in Mike Hesson and Simon Katich, the expectation is to shake things up and start afresh. The main strengths of this current unit are the top order, spin bowling, and a fairly decent Indian pace attack.

Hence, as always, death bowling is of top priority. Death bowling has been their Achilles heel for quite some time now and must be addressed. Likewise, a big-hitting finisher to bulk up the middle order is also the need of the hour. A few more all-round options would also add to the versatility of this squad. The remaining batting slots can be occupied by young Indian batsmen, complementing the international players. But with only a sum of INR 27.90 Cr and 13 slots to fill, the RCB think-tank will have to form an auction strategy based around value-for-money players.

The Karnataka State team have done very well in limited-overs cricket, and RCB must look in that direction too. There has been a dip in the number and quality of Karnataka players signed by the franchise, and the think-tank must sign some youngsters from the state to support homegrown talent. Apart from this, many Indian batsmen have done well in this year's domestic calendar so far and could shine if given the opportunity in the IPL.

Also see – Ranji points table

Therefore, for possible options to bolster the squad, we have considered the performance of players in the various tournaments in India and around the world, as well as how their skill-set would benefit RCB. With batting-friendly conditions at the Chinnaswamy stadium, accompanied by Virat Kohli's fiery style of captaincy, RCB can truly play fearless cricket if they make the right signings at the auction.

#5 Raymon Reifer

Raymon Reifer was extensively used as a death bowler for the Barbados Tridents in the 2019 CPL
Raymon Reifer was extensively used as a death bowler for the Barbados Tridents in the 2019 CPL

A relatively unknown quantity, Raymon Reifer was an unsung hero in Barbados Tridents' title-winning run in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) this year. Reifer, a left-arm pacer, was instrumental in winning low-scoring matches for the Tridents with his wily bowling at the death. He may not be the fastest bowler, but he is accurate and has a bunch of variations which make him difficult to read. His skill-set was used very well by his skipper Jason Holder, as he ended up as the highest wicket-taking pacer in the CPL. He was the third-highest wicket-taker overall with 14 scalps in 11 games in a largely spin-dominated CPL.

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Reifer is also a handy lower-order batter and could be used as a pinch-hitter when needed. He is also a big-match player, something RCB desperately needs, as he returned figures of 4-23 in the final of the 2019 CPL. His exploits on the flat, spin-friendly decks of the Carribean are more than proof of what he could do in the IPL.

Could Raymon Reifer replicate his form for the Tridents at the Chinnaswamy?



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Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:10 IST
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