The IPL, which started back in 2008 and is still going strong, is highly popular all over the world. And with good reason: the tournament has produced nail-biting, tense matches as well as innovative batting and bowling on a regular basis.
IPL 2020 is drawing closer, and the transfer window came to an end on November 14. All in all, 73 players were released during the window. Royal Challengers Bangalore, with 12 players, seemed especially keen to get rid of surplus players and now build a new squad for the future.
In the process, they have made a few bold moves. On that note, here are three world-class players who were released by RCB ahead of IPL 2020.
#3 Colin de Grandhomme
Colin de Grandhomme is a well-known figure on the international stage thanks to his powerful ball-striking and economical bowling. He has enjoyed an excellent Test career, with a batting average of almost 40 and a bowling average of 30. 57.
But unfortunately, the New Zealander has been unable to replicate this success in the IPL. He has quite a mediocre record in the tournament (a batting average of 18 and six wickets in 25 matches).
De Grandhomme started his IPL career at Kolkata Knight Riders in 2017. But with the likes of Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell, who are all similar batsmen to De Grandhomme, in their ranks, he was perhaps confused about what his role should have been and struggled to score enough runs.
In a bid to breathe new life into his IPL career, De Grandhomme switched his allegiance to Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2018. Because RCB had an ineffective middle-order at the time, he was expected to lead the charge in that area and become an indispensable player of the team.
But that did not materialise and RCB released him ahead of IPL 2020.
#2 Tim Southee
Royal Challengers Bangalore were renowned for their powerful top order, headed by Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, in 2017. But their bowling was almost the complete opposite. The unit lacked penetration throughout the 10th edition and conceded an expensive 8.55 runs per over.
In order to put a halt to the carnage, RCB bought Tim Southee at the IPL 2018 auction. Southee, a dependable bowler for New Zealand with a vicious out-swinger, was expected to be the leader of RCB’s attack in the above-mentioned edition.
But unfortunately things panned out otherwise. He picked up only five wickets in 2018 and one in 2019 (in a combined 11 matches), and rarely flustered the opposition batsmen.
Even though he is still a stalwart bowler for New Zealand and a world-famous name in cricket circles, it came as no surprise when Southee was let go ahead of IPL 2020.
#1 Dale Steyn
A bowler renowned for his ability to swing the ball at express pace, Dale Steyn is arguably the biggest surprise on this list. Few people expected that Royals Challengers Bangalore would release Steyn, who is very popular in India, ahead of IPL 2020.
The paceman could have made a big difference for RCB next year, especially if one considers how light the team is on quality bowlers and how expensive the attack was in IPL 2019.
The South African has enjoyed a superb IPL career, having taken 96 wickets in 92 matches. He played the first three seasons of IPL with RCB, before he was bought by Deccan Chargers in 2011.
Steyn was a stellar performer for the Chargers and captured 14 wickets in 12 matches. After that he also played for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Gujarat Lions, but missed the 2017 and 2018 editions.
In 2019, he was drafted in by RCB as an injury replacement for Nathan Coulter-Nile. Steyn looked in fine form as he took four wickets in two matches. His toe-crushing yorker to dismiss CSK’s Suresh Raina oozed class.
Even at 36 years of age Steyn still has plenty of gas left in the tank, and the other franchises will be eager to buy him at the upcoming IPL auction (which will be held on December 19).