The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) made it to the Eliminator in the last edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), where they fell to the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Virat Kohli's men come into the tournament having overhauled the roster, with a number of fresh faces - both Indian and overseas. Kyle Jamieson and Glenn Maxwell became the franchise's most expensive auction purchases ever, while a number of young domestic talents made their way to the side.
RCB's squad for IPL 2021: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Md. Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Finn Allen, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmed, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai, KS Bharat
Barring a few big names, the RCB squad for IPL 2021 doesn't really have much depth to it. But here, we attempt to name 3 players who may not play a single game for the side in this year's IPL.
#3 Kane Richardson
Kane Richardson pulled out of IPL 2020 citing personal reasons, but RCB placed their faith in the quick by retaining him ahead of the 2021 auction.
The Aussie quick was in decent wicket-taking form for his country in the recent 5-match T20I series against New Zealand. He picked up 3-wicket hauls in two games, and bowled some decently economical spells otherwise as well.
But in the presence of Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj, who are two quality Indian pacers, Richardson should be nothing more than a backup option. RCB have two overseas fast bowlers ahead of him in the pecking order as well - Daniel Sams and Kyle Jamieson.
Richardson's IPL record is average at best - 18 wickets in 14 games at an economy rate of 8.4. He might not get the chance to improve upon these numbers in this year's league.
#2 Harshal Patel
A player who's been in sensational form with both bat and ball in domestic cricket, Haryana captain Harshal Patel was traded from the Delhi Capitals to the Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the 2021 IPL auction.
Patel has been an excellent all-round option for his state side, regularly putting in vital contributions in both departments. But RCB have a few seam-bowling all-rounders already. Dan Christian and Kyle Jamieson are expected to be part of the playing XI, while Daniel Sams is another option on the bench.
Like Richardson, Patel will be hampered by the presence of Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj. RCB don't need more than 4 pace options in the XI, and might opt to play one or two of the plethora of specialist Indian batsmen at their disposal instead of Patel.
If he does get a game in IPL 2021, which seems unlikely, we might seem Patel do well for the team he had his breakout season with.
#1 Adam Zampa
Adam Zampa wasn't expected to feature for RCB in the last edition of the IPL as well, but the slow wickets in the UAE meant that many teams went in with two specialist spinners.
While the Rajasthan Royals had Rahul Tewatia and Shreyas Gopal, the Punjab Kings fielded Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin. And RCB, who of course have the services of leading wicket-taker Yuzvendra Chahal to call upon, gave Zampa a few games.
The Aussie was decent if unspectacular in these games, but in this year's league, it's next to impossible to imagine him getting an opportunity. RCB play five games in Kolkata, four in Ahmedabad, three in Chennai and two in Mumbai. The venues at Kolkata and Mumbai haven't offered much turn in the recent past, while Ahmedabad might see a ton of dew.
Moreover, RCB already have two frontline spin options in Chahal and Washington Sundar, while Glenn Maxwell has proven himself to be more than capable with the ball.
Zampa is an excellent T20 bowler, but he might be forced to carry the drinks throughout IPL 2021.