True to their captain's words, RCB started their 2020 IPL campaign on a promising note, and it looked likely that the franchise would go all the way. However, that was not to be, as the Royal Challengers Bangalore were beaten by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator.
Nevertheless, there were a lot of positives for RCB in that IPL campaign.The biggest one was probably the emergence of the young Devdutt Padikkal who has become a mainstay in their top-order.
3 released players who could strengthen the Royal Challengers Bangalore roster
Royal Challengers Bangalore have only retained a few players from their core group, and are looking for a squad revamp ahead of the IPL 2021 auction.
Nevertheless, Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to build on their positives and bolster their squad in the upcoming IPL live auction. In this regard, let us have a look at three players released by various teams, who could strengthen the RCB roster.
#3 James Neesham
James Neesham made his comeback to the IPL after six years when he was snapped up by the Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in the IPL 2020 auction. He was regarded as a bargain buy owing to his ability to use the long handle and also bowl a few overs.
Things, however, didn't pan out the way Neesham would have wanted to, as he played only five games, where he scored 19 runs and picked up two wickets. As a result, the Punjab-based franchise decided to release the all-rounder ahead of the upcoming IPL season.
Nevertheless, Neesham could have a role to play in the Royal Challengers Bangalore lineup.
A lot has been said about RCB's batting being heavily overreliant on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. However, with Neesham in the playing XI, the star Royal Challengers Bangalore duo would be able to play with a bit more freedom.
While there are other star all-rounders available in the auction, it could be a productive move by Royal Challengers Bangalore if they snap up the New Zealand all-rounder.
#2 Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell was snapped up by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping INR 10.75 crore in the IPL 2020 auction.
He was expected to have a huge impact in their bid to win their maiden IPL title. However, Maxwell endured the worst IPL season of his career, managing only 108 runs in 13 games and failing to hit a single six. His poor form put pressure on KL Rahul and co., and the Australian all-rounder was released by the franchise ahead of the IPL 2021 season.
However, Maxwell, who couldn't find the middle of the bat in the IPL, was suddenly back to his deadly best for Australia against India in the limited-overs series Down Under. He scored 167 runs in three ODIs, doing so at an impressive strike-rate of 194.18 and a stupendous average of 83.5.
The 32-year-old was also in stunning form for the Melbourne Stars in the 2020-21 Big Bash League, scoring 379 runs at a strike-rate of 143.56. Owing to his rich vein of recent form, Maxwell is likely to be one of the most sought-after players in the IPL 2021 auction.
If Royal Challengers Bangalore manage to sign Maxwell, who can also be handy with the ball, he would be an outstanding addition to their star-studded batting lineup. That could make the Australian one of RCB's prime targets in the upcoming auction.
#1 Steve Smith
Arguably the biggest name in the IPL 2021 auction, Steve Smith will be on the wishlist of many franchises. The former Rajasthan Royals captain had a mediocre IPL 2020 season, scoring only 311 runs.
With the Royals failing to reach the playoffs, the franchise took a bold decision of jettisoning the Australian star. As Smith looks for another IPL team to prove his mettle, Royal Challengers Bangalore could be an ideal destination for the 31-year-old.
The camaraderie between Kohli and Smith has improved over the years, and the Australian's presence could be hugely beneficial for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Smith's presence, possibly at No. 3, would give the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper the freedom to open the innings and repeat his 2016 IPL heroics.
The presence of Kohli, Smith and De Villiers could make for a mouth-watering top order if Royal Challengers Bangalore end up signing the 31-year-old.
Smith would provide solidity to the RCB batting order, and his ability to roll his arm over could make him indispensable.