Royal Challengers Bangalore is one of the IPL teams that has shown promise season after season but has ended up repeating the same slogan for the last 15 years – “Ee salaa cup namade” – without much glory. The main reason for this is the management’s lack of faith in the players. Every player wants the management and captain to support them, especially when things get tough, and RCB has consistently failed to support the right players at the right time.
RCB always had the right “Match-winning” players in their squad, but they either gave them a shorter rope or just floated them around in the batting order without giving them a consistent run to prove their metal. The truth is that the players who were released by RCB went on to win the IPL title with other franchises. We’ll look at five such players who had a lot of potential and raw talent but RCB lost the diamond while chasing glitter.
In the 2016 season, RCB appeared to be the most balanced side of all time, and they were one of the favourites to win the title. Along with AB and Virat Kohli, KL Rahul was instrumental in RCB reaching the finals. KL Rahul was definitely a rising talent, having scored 397 runs in 12 innings at a brisk strike rate of 146. While Sarfaraz Khan was retained by RCB over KL Rahul, KL left no stone unturned with his new franchise – Punjab, scoring 659 runs in 14 innings with an astonishing strike rate of 158 for someone who was predominantly known as a “Test” player.
Rahul then broke free with Punjab, becoming the second-highest scorer in the 2019 IPL with 593 runs, including a century. Rahul continued his hot streak in 2020, winning the Orange Cup with 670 runs, one century, and five 50s. RCB will undoubtedly reconsider its strategy of releasing Rahul, who had the potential to captain the team in the future.
Quinton De Kock
De Kock, a South African wicket-keeper batter, was acquired by RCB for a bargain price of 2.8 crores during the 2018 mega auction. QDK was the highest run-scorer for DC in 2016, scoring 445 runs at an average of 37, including a century against RCB itself. Quinny missed the 2017 IPL season due to an injury scare, and after being purchased by RCB in 2018, Quinton played only 8 matches before being released by the club.
The Mumbai Indians took advantage of the situation by signing QDK in 2019, and Quinton went on to score 529 runs in 16 innings with four 50s, finishing third in the 2019 edition overall. Quinney was not only MI’s leading scorer, but his quickfire starts were pioneering in Mumbai, where he won the IPL Trophy in 2019.
The RCB’s history of not supporting players is well known. Moeen Ali was another victim of RCB management’s lack of support. After being dropped by RCB, England all-rounder Moeen Ali was shown trust and backed by the CSK management, who gave him a longer run at number three.
Ali was not only experimental in terms of scoring quickly, scoring 357 runs in 15 innings but he was also used by MSD as more of an all-arounder than just a batter. Ali took six crucial wickets, with the best of three for seven runs. Moeen Ali was another player on the list who went after the IPL trophy after being released by RCB.
The fiery Australian all-rounder, who has always been a match-winner for whichever team he has played for, was signed by RCB to help them win their first IPL title. RCB gave Shane a full season, giving Watson 16 games to prove his worth. However, as giving longer ropes to the right players has always been a problem for RCB, Watto was no exception.
Watson was an RCBian for two seasons before being backed by the whistle podu army, where he was the leading run-scorer for CSK in the 2018 season with a breathtaking knock of 117 not out in the finals against the Orange army, bringing CSK back to IPL glory. Shane Watson nearly helped CSK win their fifth title in 2019 with a marathon inning of 80 (59) despite a bleeding right knee on the night of the finals, but fell one run short.
None of the RCB fans could have predicted that their beloved Yuzi would ever leave their red and gold uniform and wear a different jersey. However, this has been the case with RCB for over 15 years, as they have shown little faith in potential players and match winners.
To many people’s surprise, Yuzvendra Chahal was not retained by RCB and was eventually selected in the mega auction by Rajasthan Royals for a steal price of 6.50 crores.
And the fans know it very well! Our favourite Yuzi did not disappoint the new franchise. He picked up 11 wickets at a squeezing economy of just 6.50 runs per over, the lowest among the top ten wicket-takers. Chahal’s streak of smart leg-spin bowling has provided crucial breakthroughs for RR whenever the opposing team was cruising to victory. Only time will tell whether Yuzi will go on to win an IPL trophy with his new team after leaving RCB. But one thing is certain: RCB will be without his services this season.