The much-anticipated IPL auction is set to take place in Kolkata on December 19th. The franchises will look to build consistent and formidable sides for the upcoming edition of the league. Teams have announced their retained and released players, along with some shocking trades that took place before November 15th.
Considered the most entertaining and star-studded sides in the IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians have always produced exhilarating matches whenever they square off against each other. While RCB has never lifted an IPL trophy in their journey thus far, MI has been the most successful team with four titles to their name.
The teams would look to raise the bidding war to align big-match players into their line-up. On that note, let's take a look at three players who can start a bidding war between RCB and MI.
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#3 James Neesham
James Neesham has been a vital part of New Zealand cricket in the shorter-formats lately. He had a marvellous stint in the 2019 Cricket World Cup, followed by the Carribean Premier League this year. He scored 232 runs and clinched 15 wickets in the World Cup, playing a crucial role as the batting all-rounder.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have had woes with their finishers, as the lower-order crumbles if the top-order doesn't score enough runs. Neesham could be a perfect fit as a lower middle-order batsman with his striking abilities. He can also be a death-bowling option that RCB has lacked over the years.
As for the Mumbai Indians, James Neesham could be a perfect replacement to Kieron Pollard if the Carribean seems out of touch. Neesham can also be a sixth bowling option for MI, perhaps helping them take crucial wickets if the frontline bowlers have a rough day.
Neesham would be an X-factor as RCB and MI could go into a bidding war over this Auckland-born all-rounder.
#2 Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan has grown into a formidable middle-order batsman as well as a matured leader in the shortest format. With the ability to rotate the strike and score big, Morgan has established himself as a match-winner. The World Cup-winning captain amassed 371 runs for England as the skipper leading from the front.
Royal Challengers Bangalore needs a matured batsman who can play long innings and finish matches on his own. Based on his immense experience, he can also act as a mentor to younger players like Shivam Dube and Devdutt Paddikal from the Virat Kohli-led franchise. Morgan can be a positive addition to the squad based on his consistency over the years.
As for the Mumbai Indians, Eoin Morgan could act as a bridge between decent starts and finishing matches as a floater in the line-up. This 33-year-old could strengthen the middle order as an overseas recruit, thus being MI's target for the upcoming auction.
Morgan has played for RCB, KKR, KXIP, and SRH in the past seasons of IPL. The explosive English left-hander would probably be a game-changer with his leadership abilities, as he could land up in the bidding war between RCB and MI in this year's auction.
#1 Sam Curran
Sam Curran broke headlines by becoming the most expensive foreign player of last season, after being sold to Kings XI Punjab for a hefty ₹7.2 crores. This young prodigy from England got a hattrick against Delhi Capitals and picked up ten wickets in nine matches. He scored 95 runs to his tally at a strike rate of 172.72 in IPL 2019.
Curran, who can bowl left-arm fast-medium, can also save his side from middle-order collapses. He is an emerging talent who has struck big in the international scene, turning into a valuable player in T20 cricket. Royal Challengers Bangalore require such calibre in their squad who can be a big-hitter and a death bowling option at the same time.
Mumbai Indians are well known for giving breakthroughs to such young talents by providing them multiple opportunities to shine. Curran can act as a finisher along with the Pandya brothers, and can also bowl at the right lengths to provide crucial wickets for his team.
With Sam Curran expected to only get better, RCB and MI could heavily invest to gain the services of this Englishman.