A season that offered great hope for the RCB fans at the start but tapered off as IPL 2020 went along towards the later stages in the tournament. With a revamped squad, RCB made a bright start to the season, winning five of their first 7 games in IPL 2020. However, the second half of the tournament brought misery for the Virat Kohli-led franchise as they could muster victory only in two matches. As they set an eye on the next IPL edition, only a few months away, RCB might release some of their players ahead of the 2021 auction.
Despite a below-par performance in the second half of the IPL 2020, RCB gained a lot of positives as they reached the IPL playoffs for the first time since 2016. The emergence of Devdutt Paddikal as a capable opener, coupled with Mohammad Siraj's comeback after a poor IPL 2019, were a few of the major positives for RCB in 2020. Though there were still a few players who didn't produce the desired goods in the season gone by.
While we cannot expect a major overhaul ahead of next season, here's a look at 5 players RCB might release ahead of the IPL 2021 auction:
1. Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav was a huge let-down for RCB in IPL 2020. Yadav didn't make enough contribution with the ball in the first two matches and was eventually seen warming the benches for the rest of the season. In the opening game for RCB this season, Yadav conceded 48 runs in his spell of four overs to start his season on a disappointing note. He went wicketless in the two matches and was taken to the cleaners in both the fixtures.
With the emergence of Mohammad Siraj and Navdeep Saini as two reliable fast-bowling prospects for the future, Umesh might have had his time in the RCB colors. The Indian quick might very well be released ahead of the 2021 edition of the IPL.
Umesh Yadav IPL 2020 Stats
2. Parthiv Patel
Parthiv Patel is another player for RCB who might be one of the first few players to be released ahead of IPL auction 2021. The Gujarat-born player didn't even feature in a single game this season while the young Devdutt Paddikal was preferred as the first-choice opener in the playing XI. RCB was quite keen to see the look of Paddikal which even forced AB De Villers to take up the gloves to strike the right balance for RCB.
After having joined RCB in IPL 2018, Parthiv was a regular feature in the team as an opener. However, the emergence of Paddikal has certainly closed doors for Parthiv's inclusion in the team. And if this season is anything to go by, we may see Parthiv Patel up for grabs in the IPL auction 2021.
3. Moeen Ali
In the team as a specialized international all-rounder, Moeen Ali didn't get enough opportunities to feature for RCB in IPL 2020. In the three matches this season, Ali couldn't make enough inroads to get an extended run for the Bangalore-based franchise. He picked up a solitary wicket and scored a paltry 12 runs in the three outings.
Despite having a good season for RCB in IPL 2020, Moeen couldn't find a regular place in the playing XI pertaining to the combination of the side in 2020. While RCB could have tried the English all-rounder as a suited finisher in the lower order, Kohli and co. preferred the experience and skills of Chris Morris ahead of Mooeen Ali. As a result, IPL 2020 could have been Ali's last season at RCB with the franchise opting to release ahead of the 2021 IPL auction.
Moeen Ali IPL 2020 stats
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4. Pawan Negi
Pawan Negi was bought back by RCB at IPL auction 2020 as one of the backup players in the team. One of the better fielders in the RCB IPL 2020 squad, Negi, however, couldn't break into the playing XI in the entire IPL season. Instead, RCB backed the 25-year old youngster from Bengal in Shahbaz Ahmed to deliver for the team. Going forward, it won't be a surprising decision if Negi is released ahead of the IPL 2021 auction.
5. Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn has been one of the most terrifying fast bowlers of all-time. However, the past few years haven't been the same for the veteran fast bowler, especially due to the loads of injuries that have halted his progress as a cricketer. Even in IPL 2020, Steyn looked far from his best. It was a mediocre season for Dale, who managed to pick up a solitary wicket in the three matches. He was quite expensive throughout the season and as a reason couldn't find a permanent spot in the playing XI for RCB.
The 37-year-old isn't getting any younger and a considerable dip in his form isn't helping his cause either. In IPL 2021 auction, RCB might take the tough decision to release Dale Steyn and opt for another bankable overseas pace option.
Dale Steyn IPL 2020 stats