IPL: 5 players Royal Challengers Bangalore wish had stayed
Passionate fan-base - tick, marquee players -tick, big-money signings-tick, brilliant home stadium-tick. Number of Indian Premier League titles in ten years - Error 404, not found.
That is Royal Challengers Bangalore in a nutshell.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore have made it to the finals on four occasions, thrice in the IPL and once in the Champions League Twenty20. At the beginning of every season, you think they are the team to beat and they would finally cross the line and with each effort, they falter, only to rise from the dead, start from scratch the following year failing to put an end to this vicious cycle.
Different issues have come to haunt the Bangalore side every year. Once it was their fifth-bowler conundrum, another time their death-overs weakness, and another time injuries to key players. There has always been and will continue to be a glaring imbalance in the team or so it appears to be because of the stupendous batting line-up they have. If that was the case, they could not have possibly made it to the play-off stages on 5 occasions. What has really hurt them is crumbling at the later stages of the tournament giving them the chokers tag.
Several players that have left the Red and Gold brigade have gone on to player pivotal roles in helping their sides win the title. RCB surely regret letting go of several such players. Here are 5 such players who could have helped RCB win the elusive title had they stayed.
#5 Steve Smith
Steve Smith vs Virat Kohli is without a doubt cricket's version of the Messi vs Ronaldo debate. What if Messi and Ronaldo played on the same team? What if Steve Smith and Virat Kohli played on the same team?
Few would believe that this happened. In the 2010 IPL season, following an injury to Jesse Ryder, Steve Smith was brought in as a replacement. However, he failed to make it to the starting 11 as RCB finished third. During the 2011 IPL auction, he was bought by the now-defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala side for $200,000. However, an ankle injury meant he did not play that season either. The next season, Kochi Tuskers were dropped from the IPL and Smith was put up for auction. Although he went unsold, he was brought in as a replacement for Mitchell Marsh and went onto win the Man-of-the-match Award in his debut game.
Following this, he moved to the Rajasthan Royals and the Rising Pune Supergiants where he served as captain. In the 69 games he has played, he has amassed a whopping 1701 runs at an average of 37.02 at a strike rate of 132. The Bangalore side has always known to be top heavy with Gayle and Kohli opening and de Villiers coming in at 3. Smith could have lent the much needed middle order solidarity and single-handedly won games on his own.