It is fair to say that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most followed T20 League around the globe. Here the biggest of cricketing superstars charm the audience for 2 months. What makes this tournament even more entertaining is its unpredictability factor as all the teams have an equal amount of ammunition. Above all these franchises have a very strong fanbase which has immensely contributed to the success of this annual carnival.
Among the 8 regular participants, the team which has been always providing the fans with the edge of the seat thrillers is none other than the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). It has been home to some of the iconic personalities of the gentlemen’s game. Their brand of cricket has been invariably increasing the aura of this yearly event. However, their trophy cabinet is empty and it is because of some poor decisions the management has taken at the auction table.
Here is the list of 5 worst signings by RCB in IPL history:
1) Dinesh Karthik
Back in 2014 when the Bangalore franchise finished just above the wooden spoon holders, many changes were expected to take place in the squad. So after releasing Yuvraj Singh, they went into the auction eyeing for an experienced middle-order batsman. Finally, the RCB managed to bag Dinesh Karthik who wasn’t enjoying his stint with the Delhi side.
The Tamil Nadu cricketer has regularly hit jackpot in the IPL. The keeper-batsman has played for as many as 6 teams in the league. When in full-flow Karthik can be unstoppable and his stroke-making might have caught the attention of RCB team management. They shelled out Rs 10.5 crore for him and his paycheque was higher than AB de Villiers.
At first, Dinesh seemed a perfect choice for the small boundaries and true surface of Chinnaswamy stadium. Unfortunately, he could muster only 141 runs despite playing all of 16 matches. He got his chances at every possible batting position in the top six but never crossed the 30-run mark. Once again, like in his international career, he failed to utilize his opportunities and found himself in the auction pool after a horrendous run.
2) Tymal Mills
In 2016, the Bold Army missed the mark by an inch and in the process, they lost their third IPL final. Still, the fans were happy to see their team perform at the highest level and wished to cross the barrier soon. The only thing which bothered the team was its inconsistent bowling line-up. So they were on the lookout of quality fast bowlers before the 2017 edition.
At the same time their star performer, Mitchell Starc pulled out and the franchise was desperate to boost its bowling stocks. As a result, they entered the bidding war for Tymal Mills because of his fresh BBL heroics. The Englishman is known for his death bowling skills and slow ball variations and the franchise paid a hefty sum of Rs 12 crore to secure his services.
Mills has the pace to surprise the batsmen but what followed left the Bangalore fans dejected. The speedster made only 5 appearances. With 5 wickets to his name, he didn’t make an immediate impact but he should have been given a longer rope. More importantly, it was a grave mistake on behalf of management to expect an unknown commodity to produce instant results. Within a year, Mills was dumped from the squad and his IPL story ended on a sorry note.
3) Saurabh Tiwary
After making it to the playoffs of the 3rd edition of IPL, the Challengers were ready for a complete changeover. It was time for the mega auction and very few marquee players were retained by the franchises. Particularly the Bangalore team was trying to set-up a new-look squad as they released all the stars except Virat Kohli.
They snapped up some hard-hitting players including Saurabh Tiwary. In those days, the Jharkhand cricketer was termed the successor of MS Dhoni as he possessed the power game to threaten quality bowling units. It was on show during his stint with Mumbai Indians as he was one of the leading run-getters in the 2010 IPL. For all his abilities, the southpaw was given a paycheque of Rs 6.4 crore which was thrice the salary of the captain of the side, Daniel Vettori.
Tiwary was trusted with his finishing skills and played the entire season but the price tag affected his performances. He scored 187 runs at a strike rate of 100 and such numbers didn’t justify his place in the side. Still, he was given more opportunities in the next two seasons but his poor form continued. He represented RCB in 40 games over a span of 3 years and had only a single 50+ score to his name. Since then Tiwary has been an afterthought in most of the auctions.
4) Chris Woakes
The 10th edition of IPL was a nightmare for the RCB fanbase as their team ended up with just 3 wins in the league stage. Again it was time for the franchise to return to the drawing board and coin out new strategies. As expected, the Virat Kohli-led side was looking for a fresh start as they retained only 3 players before the mega sell-off.
Especially they built a bowling unit consisting of quality pacers and Chris Woakes found a new home. Though the speedster is known for his red-ball pyrotechnics he was slowly developing into a limited-overs star for the English side. By looking at his track record and international experience the team bagged him for an absorbing figure of Rs 7.4 crore. He would have also increased the batting depth, an ideal option for the T20s.
He started the tournament with a bang as he picked up a 3-fer against KKR. Unfortunately, it was the only night which Woakes enjoyed in the Bangalore dressing room as in the next 4 games he was smashed to all parts of the ground. He struggled to control the run-flow at the end overs and his economy rate of 10.36 proves it. Thereafter, he was benched for the rest of the season and vanished from the IPL scene as he didn’t attract a buyer in the 2019 auction.
5) Cheteshwar Pujara
In 2011, the Bold Army had a new battalion for another IPL battle. With a good mix of youth and experience, they were considered one of the strongest contenders for the title. Particularly the team consisted of a lot of Indian domestic players which gave them the flexibility to field a playing XI based on the conditions.
One such domestic talent was Cheteshwar Pujara who is a quality top-order batsman. Though he is not known for his white-ball skills his good record in List-A games prompted the franchise to bag him. Surprisingly he fetched Rs 3.2 crore which meant that he was an important part of Bangalore’s plans. The right-hander played 7 ties in his first season for the RCB.
Sadly, Pujara was utilized most inappropriately as he batted in the lower order where muscle is required for scoring runs. He was unable to adapt to such a role which further aggravated his problems. After spending 3 years and a total of 14 games with the franchise he was eventually dropped from the squad. Since then he has been tagged as a red-ball player and it is quite strange that the franchise picked him in the first place.
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