IPL auction: RCB look to address bowling woes

IPL auction: RCB look to address bowling woes

VETERAN: Lasith Malinga is one of the proven pacers available at the IPL 2019 auction. AFP File Photo

At the end of the major auctions earlier this year, the Royal Challengers Bangalore think-tank exuded great confidence. They felt they had assembled a perfectly balanced squad which they did to a large extent. But, yet again, the forces failed to combine together on the pitch as they finished a disappointing last.

One of the major reasons behind their disastrous showing was the perennial Achilles Heel — death overs bowling. While Umesh Yadav did bag 20 wickets, he and the rest of the pace pack weren’t able to stem the flow of runs when opposition batsmen chose to turn on the accelerator. Addressing that concern, which has left skipper Virat Kohli clueless on many occasions, will be high on their minds.

Proven pacers who will be available for taking at the 2019 IPL auction in Jaipur are Lasith Malinga, Mohammad Shami, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn. Although Malinga is not the same force that he was until a few years ago, he still can be very effective and is the sort of bowler RCB have been missing for a decade. The toe-crushing yorkers and the enormous experience makes him a priceless asset and RCB should seriously consider roping him.

Shami may be considered more a red-ball specialist nowadays after the emergence of the Bhuvneswar Kumar-Jasprit Bumrah partnership with the Indian team but the Bengal pacer can be a potent weapon.

Morne Morkel, who has quit the South African team, is one option worth exploring for RCB. He’s one player who would be available for the entirety of the tournament and the tall pacer could see some intense bidding. Steyn, who has returned to international cricket with a bang following injury, can be good pick too.

Bowling apart, RCB would need another solid domestic batting option. The batting has largely banked on the exploits of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers and an explosive middle-order batsman is a much-needed buy.

RCB also have just Parthiv Patel as the lone wicketkeeper and they would be looking for a proper back-up.