The month of November saw the IPL teams bring out the list of their players retained ahead of next edition. At the same time, those who weren't adding any value to the table were bid adieu by the franchises.
Now, each franchise has a bunch of players in their hand and a plan regarding how to make the best out of the IPL Auction. While some teams opted to retain the key players around which the team will be built, others messed up quite badly and are left with squads that are incomplete in all aspects.
These teams are no match for the top sides who have a settled squad and all bases covered. In this article, we will take a look at the three weakest IPL sides based on the bunch of players retained.
#3 Delhi Daredevils
The Delhi Daredevils, after another horrible season in 2018, have swung the axe, letting go many of their big names including hometown hero Gautam Gambhir, Mohammed Shami, and Glenn Maxwell. Delhi acquired Shikhar Dhawan from the SRH by trading Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, and Vijay Shankar.
The set of retained players is a relatively inexperienced one with only Shikhar Dhawan and Amit Mishra being the two who have played all the seasons of the IPL. The exuberance can be fascinating in a young side but the lack of experience leads to the downfall more often than not.
However, the players retained by Delhi are talented which seems to be the only consolation. If the young guns don't fire, then Delhi Daredevils would be in for another lackluster of a season. All in all, the squad is not the strongest and needs a lot of penetration and experience in both the batting and bowling department.
Squad: Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, Colin Munro, Rishabh Pant, Manjot Kalra, Prithvi Shaw, Chris Morris, Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Harshal Patel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Avesh Khan, Rahul Tewatia.
#2 Rajasthan Royals
The Rajasthan Royals, who were one of the playoffs entrants last season, made a lot of chopping and changing and let go those who did not live up to the expectations in the IPL 2018.
Among prominent players retained by the Royals were Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Jofra Archer. Jaydev Unadkat and D'Arcy Short are the notable players who won't be donning their jersey this time around.
On the paper, the Rajasthan team is low-key one consisting of a lot of players who are not superstars but at the same time cannot be taken lightly. The team is bolstered by the possible comeback of Steven Smith while the early departure of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes will hamper them badly as England play Pakistan in May.
As always, the team lacks the experience required to seize crucial moments which prove decisive and in the end are the difference between winning and losing. The team is over-reliant on 5-6 players which is not a healthy sign.
Squad: Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Prashant Chopra, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Ish Sodhi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Sudheshan Midhun.
#1 Royal Challengers Bangalore
It might be hard to believe but it is true. Fan-favourites Royal Challengers Bangalore walk into the IPL Auction 2019 as the weakest team based on the squad of retained players. A team which is known to be heavy on paper has let go a lot of big names and the only ones left are Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
The RCB have many loopholes in their squad which they have to plug in as they go into the IPL 2019. They don't have an attacking foreign opener to start with. Apart from Kohli and de Villiers, there is not a single experienced batsman who is capable of putting his hand up and delivering when the batting unit crumbles. In fact, they do not have a single Indian batsman in the middle order barring Virat Kohli himself.
The bowling as always has let the franchise down. The best that RCB got in fast-bowling contingent is Coulter-Nile, Southee and Umesh Yadav who are tidy but not regarded as best in the business. Mohammed Siraj and Kulwant Khejroliya, while good, were quite expensive last season and cannot always be relied upon all the time. Yuzvendra Chahal is the only experienced spinner in their ranks while his back-ups Pawan Negi and Washington Sundar haven't consistently delivered.
Having so many bases uncovered, the men in red have a lot of work to do at the auction and is arguably the weakest retained squad on the paper.
Squad: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya