The Royal Challengers Bangalore is one of the most popular teams in the Indian Premier League and boasts of some of the biggest names in the world of cricket. However, over the years, the team has faced criticism for its poor performance and lack of success. Despite having a star-studded lineup, the RCB has struggled to reach the top and has faced frequent changes to its squad. Unfortunately, some of these changes have resulted in the release of talented players who could have contributed to the team’s success. In this blog, we take a look at 5 players who should not have been released by the RCB and how their absence has impacted the team’s performance.
Number 1. Yuzvendra Chahal
In 2014, RCB made a visionary decision to bring on board Yuzvendra Chahal to revolutionize their bowling attack. From day one, he proved his brilliance, securing 12 wickets in just 14 matches with an impressive economy of 7.01. The next season was his breakthrough, where he unleashed his full potential, claiming 23 scalps in 15 games at a magnificent economy of 8.86.
But in November 2021, RCB made a grave mistake by letting go of Chahal. Despite his remarkable performance of 18 wickets in 15 matches at a stunning economy of 7.05 in IPL 2021, they failed to retain him. It’s a shame that they failed to recognize his record-breaking achievements as the highest wicket-taker for RCB with 139 wickets in 113 matches and an outstanding economy of 7.58.
But the story doesn’t end there, as the Rajasthan Royals saw Chahal’s potential and signed him in the 2022 mega-auction for a hefty sum of INR 6.5 crore. And he did not disappoint. With his first appearance in a RR jersey, Chahal dominated the spin attack and rightfully earned the Purple Cap with 27 wickets in 17 games and a remarkable economy of 7.75.
Number 2. Shane Watson
Shane Watson made a lasting impression in the very first season of the IPL, playing a pivotal role in the Rajasthan Royals’ championship victory in 2008. When the Royals were suspended for the 2016-17 editions, Watson participated in the 2016 mini-auction, and RCB saw an opportunity to bring a legend on board. They made a bold move, investing INR 9.5 crore in the former Aussie all-rounder.
In his first season with the RCB, Watson shined as a middle-order batter, racking up 179 runs in 16 matches with a stunning strike rate of 133.58. He also made an impact with the ball, grabbing 20 wickets, though with a high economy of 8.98.
But in the 10th edition of the league in 2017, Watson had a disappointing season, struggling with both the bat and the ball. Recognizing his underwhelming performance, RCB made the difficult decision to not retain him for the next season. However, this proved to be a blessing in disguise as the Chennai Super Kings acquired his services for just INR 4 crore in the 2018 mega-auction.
Under the leadership of MS Dhoni, Watson was reinvigorated and proved his prowess as an opening batter. In CSK’s historic championship win, Watson was a powerhouse, amassing 555 runs with two centuries and half-centuries in 15 games at an awe-inspiring strike rate of 154.59.
Number 3. Moeen Ali
At the 2018 IPL auction, a new opportunity presented itself for the England all-rounder Moeen Ali. His talent was recognized and he was picked up by RCB at a cost of INR 1.7 crore. In his debut season, Ali was given the chance to shine in five matches.
However, his first season was not without challenges as he was only able to score 77 runs and took only three wickets. But, in 2019, he showcased his batting prowess, amassing 220 runs with two half-centuries in 11 games at a strike rate of 165.41. Despite a less successful performance in 2020, where he scored only 12 runs and took one wicket in three games, Ali was picked up by Chennai Super Kings at the 2021 mini-auction for INR 7 crore.
With CSK, Ali was given the role of a top-order batter and he did not disappoint, scoring 357 runs in 15 matches at a strike rate of 137.30. Despite CSK’s poor performance in the league last year, Ali continued to shine with the bat, accumulating 244 runs and taking 8 wickets in 10 contests.
Number 4. Chris Gayle
At the 2011 mega auction, a gem was left untapped. But when the universe conspired to bring Chris Gayle to RCB, we knew it was meant to be. The Jamaican wrecking ball made his debut in style, blasting Kolkata Knight Riders with 102 runs off just 55 deliveries.
In that same season, Gayle captured the Orange Cap with an eye-popping 608 runs in just 12 games and a strike rate of 183.13. And the following year, he did it again – retaining the Orange Cap with 733 runs in 15 games and a strike rate of 160.74.
For seven seasons, Gayle thrilled fans with his power-hitting and helped put RCB on the map. But in 2018, it was time for a change. He was not part of RCB’s retention list, but we knew that wasn’t the end for him.
Joining forces with KL Rahul at Punjab Kings, Gayle proved that he still had plenty left in the tank. He slammed 368 runs with a century and three half-centuries in just 11 games, showcasing his immense experience. And the next season, he was even better, belting 490 runs in 13 games with a strike rate of 153.60. Gayle’s impact on the league is undeniable and he continues to amaze fans with his mastery of the game.
Number 5. KL Rahul
In 2016, KL Rahul returned to the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise, and his talent was on full display. With 397 runs, including four half-centuries, and a strike rate of 146.49, Rahul solidified himself as a force to be reckoned with in the tournament.
But in 2017, a shoulder injury kept Rahul off the field. Despite his absence, his batting prowess didn’t go unnoticed. At the 2018 mega auction, Rahul was snapped up by Punjab Kings (PBKS) for a staggering INR 11 crore.
And Rahul didn’t disappoint. He was a vital piece for PBKS, contributing 659 runs, six fifties, and a strike rate of 158.41. In 2020, he even took home the Orange Cap with his exceptional performance, scoring 670 runs, one century, five half-centuries, and a strike rate of 129.34.