The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) once again failed to make it to the playoffs in IPL 2019, just like the last two years. In fact, they finished dead last in the points table this time, which has to be a cause of embarrassment for the management.
The last time RCB made it to the final four was back in 2016, when Virat Kohli single-handedly took his team to that stage. Kohli won the Orange Cap that season with a staggering 973 runs, which also included four centuries.
The captain has continued to score runs even after that season but in a team sport like cricket, you need every single member of the team to step up - which has clearly not happened for RCB. Their bowling is one of their weakest links, and has been exposed time and again, especially at the death.
The likes of Mohammad Siraj and Umesh Yadav had a forgettable time in this year's IPL, making it obvious to everyone that death bowling is the biggest issue that RCB need to address.
Among overseas bowlers, RCB had the likes of Tim Southee and Nathan Coulter-Nile (who was replaced by Dale Steyn mid-way through the tournament) apart from a few all-rounders. Southee had a horrible season this year while Steyn was also ruled out after playing a couple of matches.
RCB need to get new recruits for next year, and they could look at some of the Australian bowlers who might be available. Here are three Australian bowlers that RCB could target for 2020:
1. Adam Zampa
Adam Zampa is one of the most important members of the Australian team when it comes to the limited overs format of the game. He was expected to be picked in this year's IPL as well but surprisingly failed to find any buyers.
Zampa has featured in a total of 11 IPL matches, which he played for the franchise Rising Pune Supergiant during 2016-17. He had a great time in that season as he picked up 19 games in just 11 matches at an average of just over 14, with best bowling figures of 6/19.
Those stats may encourage RCB to buy him next year and add a bit of support to Yuzvendra Chahal in the spin bowling department.
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2. Mitchell Starc
The left-hander missed out on playing this year's IPL because he wanted to keep himself fresh ahead of the World Cup 2019. However, he will most likely be available for selection next year.
Apart from his international experience, Starc also has some IPL experience to his name. He has featured in a total of 27 matches where he has picked up 34 scalps at a decent economy of around seven runs per over.
Starc's pedigree and record may prompt RCB to pick him up in 2020 if he is available at the auctions. But it won't be easy for them to buy him as most of the franchise owners would also be looking to get his signature.
3. Pat Cummins
Just like Starc, Pat Cummins is also one of the best fast bowlers in the world right now, and that too in all three formats of the game. He didn't play in this year's IPL either because of a similar reason to that of Starc - he had played a lot of cricket in the lead-up to the IPL, and wanted to keep himself injury-free for the World Cup.
Cummins does not have a good IPL record though; the Australian has appeared in 16 games where he has 17 wickets at an economy of above 8. But his T20I numbers are thoroughly impressive, where he has picked up 25 wickets in just 20 games at an economy of less than 7.
Cummins also possesses good hitting skills with the bat, and can score some quick runs in the lower middle order. All of this will it make difficult for RCB to resist buying him at the 2020 IPL auctions.