Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta has applauded Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for their new-look squad after the two-day IPL mega auction in Bengaluru. They came into the auction with a purse of Rs 57 crore after retaining Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Mohammad Siraj as well.
RCB bought Faf du Plessis before bringing back two of their key former players – Harshal Patel and Wanindu Hasaranga – after having a series of bidding wars. Dinesh Karthik and Josh Hazlewood were also added. However, Dasgupta believes young players like Anuj Rawat and Mahipal Lomror could step up in the middle order.
Dasgupta said on his YouTube channel: “I think this is the first time in a long time that I feel that RCB have a proper squad. There is good balance, and it is one of the best bowling units. This time it is a little bit different; earlier it was Virat, AB de Villiers and Gayle. There is a possibility that Anuj Rawat can do the job at No 5, which has been a problem for RCB. Seniors like Dinesh Karthik will take away the pressure as well. I like their lower middle order; it is not a top-three side anymore.”
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals (RR) have made a formidable top order with their retained players and Devdutt Padikkal. While their batting lineup looks solid, Deep Dasgupta expressed his concern about this.
He said: “RR are a top-heavy team. I think Jos Buttler is the only player who can give you some value at No.4. Samson is not suited at No.4. I think Jaiswal and Padikkal will open; Samson will come in at 3, and Buttler will be at No.4. Ideally speaking, you want Buttler to open. Another option is to bench Jaiswa,l and play van der Dussen at No.4. It will be awkward if they don’t play Jaiswal because they retained him (though).”
Deep Dasgupta again said: “Raina is Mr. IPL to a great extent. He is an IPL great but has dipped in the recent seasons. But I was a little surprised because there are 10 teams and when you have someone like Raina, who has a lot of experience. Maybe he has another year or two left. I thought one or two franchises might go for him because of his experience.”
Dasgupta continued: “But I understand it would be tricky as well because it will be weird in the dressing room to bring in a player of his calibre and play him as a backup. He also has played much cricket either, nothing much in domestic competitions and that might have went against him.”
Meanwhile, Suresh Raina had a poor IPL 2021 across two legs, scoring only 160 runs across 12 matches. However, Raina has not been included in any of the squad for IPL 2022 and CSK have bought some for their middle-orders as well.
Deep Dasgupta further added: “I think Robin Uthappa should open with Ruturaj Gaikwad. Conway is also a good option but I feel he’s well suited in the middle order because he plays spin well. I think they will go with Uthappa and Gaikwad at the top. Adam Milne was a very good and cheap buy. Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo, Adam Milne and Conway might be their overseas players in the playing XI.”
“Rajvardhan Hangargekar is a work in progress. I don’t think he is completely ready. He is talented, he has all the ingredients. He is a sound hitter of the ball. He has pace as well. He has the skills but it’ll take him another year to get ready. He is more of a bowler and a lower-order bat, who can score useful runs but I would not call him, as of now, an all-rounder,” Deep Dasgupta concluded.