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Missed Opportunities: 3 Players RCB Should’ve Picked in Auction

In the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ended in third position after losing to Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Qualifier 2. Despite coming close, they will look to capture the prestigious trophy this time around.

Last month, RCB acquired a few English and domestic players at the mini-auction for IPL 16. However, they could have strengthened their team by picking some recent performers and replacing non-performing names from the last edition. They also had the opportunity to sign a couple of veterans who play for Karnataka and have previously featured for RCB. Both these names are credible and have a rich history in the league.

Here are three players that RCB should have gone after at the mini-auction:

 

Number 1. Manish Pandey

 

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Before the 2022 mini-auction, Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) released Manish Pandey, who struggled with his bat, scoring only 88 runs in six matches with a strike rate of 110.00. Despite this, Pandey has vast experience in the league, having served six franchises in 15 editions of the tournament.

With 3,648 runs in 160 IPL matches, he is a bankable player in the league. In 2009, he played for RCB in the second season of the tournament and hit a fearless 114 runs off 73 balls against Deccan Chargers, solidifying his reputation as a renowned batting name in the league.

At the mini-auction held last month, DC and RCB engaged in a bidding battle to acquire his services for the forthcoming season. In the end, DC picked him at INR 2.4 crore, counting on his talent. However, RCB should have gone for Pandey as he could have done well for them in the middle order with his vast experience. In the 2022 edition, the franchise trusted Rajasthan’s Mahipal Lomror to reinforce their batting. However, Lomror had a poor showing with the bat, scoring only 86 runs for the franchise in seven games.

 

Number 2. Mayank Agarwal

 

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In the previous IPL edition, Mayank Agarwal failed to perform with the bat, amassing only 196 runs for Punjab Kings (PBKS) in 13 matches at a dismal strike rate of 122.50. Due to his poor performance, PBKS cut ties with him in November last year. The 31-year-old was also the skipper of Punjab and he couldn’t take his team to the playoffs.

After getting released from PBKS, his name went under the hammer at the mini-auction and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) invested INR 8.25 crore to acquire him for IPL 16. At the auction table, SRH also had a bidding war with Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Punjab Kings (PBKS), and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Agarwal started his journey in the league with RCB, serving the franchise from 2011-13. At the last auction, RCB tried to acquire him but gave up later. However, the franchise should have signed him as he could have delivered magnificent starts to the team with skipper Faf du Plessis. In 113 IPL games, the Karnataka batter has accumulated 2,327 runs at a strike rate of 134.28.

 

Number 3. Samarth Vyas

 

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Samarth Vyas could have been a perfect addition to the RCB squad to strengthen their middle order for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. With the likes of Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell, and Rajat Patidar, Vyas could have done wonders for the team with his current form.

Last year, he showcased his batting skills in a couple of domestic tournaments. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2022-23, he came hard on bowlers, scoring 314 runs in seven matches at a remarkable strike rate of 177.40. He also continued his form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, as he racked up 443 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 106.74.

Relying on these impressive batting figures, RCB should have purchased him at the auction last month. Instead, he will be seen in a SRH jersey as the 2016 title winners acquired him at his base price of INR 20 lakh. However, with his aggressive batting style, Samarth could have become a key player for RCB to outplay other teams.