The IPL Auction 2020 is just around the corner as all the respective team management groups of all teams have kick-started their planning processes for the same. Two of the most popular teams of the tourney, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore have had contrasting fortunes in the league.
On one side, the Mumbai Indians have won four IPL championships in 12 seasons. On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore have never won a single IPL trophy. The Bangalore-based franchise has played three IPL finals but unfortunately, they have never emerged victorious in the all-important clash. Both the teams would look to sign a common bunch of players in the auction.
Here are the five players who can start a bidding war between MI and RCB:
There is always a need for all-rounders in T20 cricket and given how talented James Neesham is, both Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore would hunt for him. The Kiwi all-rounder has also played in the IPL thus, he will be a hot commodity in the auction.
Though the injury problems have persisted with him, Neesham has regained his form on the cricket. In the 2019 Cricket World Cup, the all-rounder was amongst the top three names in New Zealand’s run-scorers and wicket-takers charts.
Mumbai Indians do have Kieron Pollard and Sherfane Rutherford, however, they may want to sign a replacement for the released Ben Cutting. On the other side, RCB have retained only two foreign players. Thus, James Neesham could be a valuable addition to their squad.
Billed by many to emerge as the most expensive player of this year’s auction, Tom Banton would surely be on the wishlist of both Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. While Mumbai Indians have expressed interest in signing him, Bangalore need a good opener.
During the trade window, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s team management raised a lot of eyebrows by releasing the likes of Marcus Stoinis and Dale Steyn among other foreign players. They need to build a good overseas contingent now because they only have AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali.
The reason why RCB will be one of the favourites to sign Banton is that they have a lot of funds now. They have let go of some big names which has proved to be a massive boost to their auction purse. Mumbai Indians may want to sign him up as a replacement for Evin Lewis.
After missing the 2019 edition of IPL, Australian all-rounder and former Kings XI Punjab skipper, Glenn Maxwell is all set to make his big return in IPL 2020. Maxwell has a lot of experience under his belt thus, he will be on the radar of multiple franchises.
The biggest reason why Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore will try to sign him in the auction is that their home grounds Wankhede Stadium and M. Chinnaswamy Stadium sports pitches which are tailor-made for a batsman like Maxwell.
The right-handed batsman wastes little time before taking the bowlers to the cleaners. Thus, the flat wickets will help in scoring more runs resulting in more success for the franchise which would sign him on 19th December.
R Sai Kishore
Whenever Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore play at their home venues, the bowlers refrain from bowling on the flat pitches. The fast bowlers get some assistance from the pitch however, the slower bowlers do not enjoy bowling much at the two grounds.
There is a domestic spinner named R Sai Kishore though who can keep a check on the run flow irrespective of the pitch conditions. Thus, Mumbai and Bangalore would enter a bidding war with the prospect of strengthening their bowling section.
R Sai Kishore has been very economical in the shortest format of the game. Besides, he can also chip in with a few wickets. Chennai Super Kings will try a lot to gain his services but expect Mumbai and Bangalore to be the biggest bidders of this race.
Deepak Hooda had made a name for himself while playing for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. Because of his flamboyant performances, he earned a mega-contract from Sunrisers Hyderabad. But, the pitches in Hyderabad did not suit him much hence, the franchise released him before IPL 2020.
The Orange Army is unlikely to go after him once again. Rajasthan Royals would look to grab him back but even Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore will keep an eye on him. The reason behind it is Hooda can go bonkers on a flat pitch.
He can prove to be a worthy all-rounder for both the teams. Mumbai Indians can use him as a back-up for Krunal Pandya whereas Royal Challengers Bangalore can directly name him in their starting XI. Thus, he might earn a big contract this year once again.
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