Royal Challengers Bangalore have tried desperately to duke it out for the title and yet the closest they have come to lift the trophy was in 2009 when they were denied of the glory by an extraordinary RP Singh whose sublime last over left them adrift of the silverware by 6 runs.
Post that they did come in touching distance of the championship once more only to surrender meekly in the finale of 2016. The persevering debacles have left even the firebrands in the worst of shapes, forcing them to mull over the fact whether this team, leadership and management is good enough to notch up the glorious trophy.
Despite the fact that the teams are still to touch the trophy which can be a possible end to their enduring humiliation, they have also had spasmodic glimpses of brilliance that have instilled hopes in fans, even if for a wee bit.
In this story, we will be looking at five best and five worst buys in the chequered yet glorious antiquity of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Five Worst Buys:
#1 Dinesh Karthik
The man who has been in the midst of questionable form for Kolkata Knight Riders with intermittent bursts of glory, Dinesh Karthik was one of the most dubious choices made by Royal Challengers Bangalore. RCB slumped down to a fiasco in 2014 that saw them finishing in the penultimate spot of the league table. With considerable reinforcements needed in the middle of the batting order, they came looking for Dinesh Karthik to replace the likes of Yuvraj Singh who was already in his twilight when he joined Bangalore. To make it even more shocking, he earned a bigger paycheque than AB De Villiers but his exploits were poorer than a bowling all-rounder. All he could manage was a paltry 141 runs from 16 games. Even the iconic ABD must be rolling in his cocoon mulling over the fact that what exactly was going on in the minds of the management who wanted to hire the services of Karthik at a better price than him.
#2 Tymal Mills
Despite being a part of the 2016 IPL finale, if there was one thing that bothered Bangalore a lot was abysmal bowling in the death. Not only was it in 2016 final, but woeful death bowling felt like a perennial problem for RCB. The solitary shaft of hope that buoyed them in this enduring ordeal was Mitchell Starc who didn’t play after 2014. After some desperate scouting, Bangalore shifted its focus to the robust Tymal Mills, who had an exceptional season in the Big Bash League. The English man was known for his variegated arsenal and also a perfect mixing of pace that troubled the Australians by a good deal. He was secured by Bangalore for a staggering sum of Rs 12 crore. Haplessly when he donned on the Bangalore jersey, the dividends which were returned were simply fatal as he could only manage 5 wickets from five games.
#3 Saurabh Tiwary
After a decent showdown in the third edition of the Indian Premier League that saw Bangalore finishing in the play-offs, they were eager to make the fullest use of the mega-auction in the upcoming edition of the tournament. They almost let go of all their players, resorting to the experienced campaigner called Virat Kohli.
In order to bolster their reinforcements, they brought in the likes of a hard-hitting Saurabh Tiwary who had a decent season for Mumbai Indians in the edition prior to that. Tiwary was deemed as the successor to MS Dhoni, especially for his striking fashion and also the flowing hair that cascaded itself like a burning mane from a scorching lion. He bagged a salary of Rs 6.4 crore which was three times more than the skipper of the side, Daniel Vettori. With the titanic onus of finishing the innings, he crumbled under the cosh and all he could manage was 187 runs at a slippery strike rate of 100.
#4 Chris Woakes
The 10th edition of the IPL panned out in the most horrific fashion for the Challengers as they could only garner three victories in the league stage in the prior edition of the tournament. Virat Kohli wanted a fresh new beginning and only retained three players before the mega-auction.
Bangalore bagged him for a hefty price of Rs 7.4 crores that saw him becoming one of the leading picks of that auction. However, when it came to returning dividends for the team, it was an utter fiasco as all he could manage was a remarkable 3-for figure against KKR in the opener. He ended the tournament on a sour note of a blistering economy rate of 10.36.
#5 Cheteshwar Pujara
In 2011, Bangalore wanted to blend youth and experience in the perfect proportions. However, that age experiment burnt down in flames for them with Cheteshwar Pujara being one of their top picks. The man who is an experienced campaigner in the longest format of the game, couldn’t really crack the T20 equation and the resultant debacle was so massive that it left Bangalore bad enough.
Despite being a part of this squad for three long years and earning a sum of Rs 3.2 crores, his contributions to the team were exceptionally modest and that ensued in Bangalore and him parting ways.
Five Best Buys:
#1 Virat Kohli
When it comes to the best purchases in the history of Royal Challengers Bangalore, no man would be a brighter appellation on the list than the Indian captain Virat Kohli. Bought even before the Indian captain shot to fame, VK was purchased by Royal Challengers Bangalore without any fuss. The first two seasons weren’t really as promising as we would expect from the experienced stroke player today. He could only manage 165 runs and 246 runs from the first two seasons.
It was in 2010 when this young man first grabbed the limelight by crossing the hallowed 300-run mark with a dominating display of his willow. The following season was even better as he hammered a staggering 557 runs. His call to the IPL batting throne came in 2016 when he went on to clobber 973 runs in that season, becoming the highest run-scorer of an individual edition and the record is still to be touched. He also became the first Indian cricketer to score 6000 IPL runs and he continues to be the towering personality gracing the Indian Premier League in all his glory.
#2 Abraham Benjamin De Villiers
Mr 360 has been in intimidating form and is one of the most venerable cricketers of all time. Not only is he known for his explosive batting but it was a scintillating display throughout the field in all disciplines that propelled him through the ranks. He was initially bought at a price of 1.5 million USD when Delhi Daredevils let him go after a couple of seasons in their ranks.
Probably they were not ready to embrace the loss that they were about to suffer from this astronomical release. ABD turned into a monster from the following seasons that saw him climbing the rungs of the success ladder at a pretty accelerated rate. He went on to hammer 5056 IPL runs from 176 matches at a stunning average of 40.77 and a strike rate of 152. From the 13 completed seasons that he has played, he has crossed the extraordinary 400-run mark a whopping 6 times. His year or reckoning was 2016 that saw him clobbering 687 runs and playing the perfect companion to a destructive Virat Kohli.
#3 Chris Gayle
It was a total of six seasons that the Universe Boss decided to reside in Bangalore and all six of them turned into a gala of runs as there was no stopping the titan once he got into the groove. After a couple of failed seasons with the Kolkata Knight Riders, Gayle made merry in his own melodious ways that saw him garnering 3163 runs for Royal Challengers Bangalore from 85 matches at a blistering strike rate of 151.20.
After a disappointing outing in 2010, Gayle went unsold at the IPL auction and it raised a lot of eyebrows, given his intimidating form in the shortest format of the game. Bangalore decided to pick him up as a replacement for an injured Dirk Nannes and the dividends they got in return were overwhelming, to say the least. The man whacked 608, 733 and 708 runs in his first three seasons for Bangalore that placed him on a pedestal that gave him a superior vantage point over his counterparts. In fact, Chris Gayle still remains the highest six-hitter of the tournament and no man is in touching vicinity of the same.
#4 Shane Watson
This is actually a very debatable call to include the Australian all-rounder in this list of glorious picks by Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, when Kohli and ABD carried on with the batting onslaught in 2016, it was Shane Watson who spearheaded the bowling unit for the Challengers.
With the bat, he could only manage 179 runs but with the ball in his hand, he scalped 20 wickets at a decent economy rate of 8.58. His best figures in that season were 4 for 29 and it was one of the two seasons where Watson managed to wring out double figures in terms of bowling.
#5 Yuzvendra Chahal
This off-spinner chronicled impressive figures for Mumbai Indians that riveted a lot of attention from others, thereby finally paving the path for his rise to stardom. Royal Challengers Bangalore came looking in 2014 and what awaited them was nothing short of sheer ecstasy.
In the following couple of seasons, Chahal picked up 44 scalps and earned his national team call-up. He has an extremely overall economy rate of 7.70 that has seen him being a mainstay at Bangalore. He continues to be a major threat to other line-ups with an extraordinary arsenal that has countless variations, bamboozling the batters at will.