Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), a franchise synonymous with star power, has grappled with an enduring challenge in its 16-year Indian Premier League (IPL ) journey — the quest for the coveted trophy. Despite boasting a fervent and loyal fan base, RCB’s trophy cabinet remains empty, punctuated by heart-wrenching defeats in the 2011 and 2016 IPL finals against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) respectively.

IPL 2023: RCB’s disappointing campaign

The recently concluded IPL 2023 witnessed another chapter of disappointment for RCB. Despite having a star-studded roster, including high-profile players on substantial contracts, RCB faltered on the final day of the league stage, missing out on the playoffs. As they prepare for the upcoming season, a strategic reshuffle seems imminent, with the potential release of certain players to fortify the squad.

5 players that RCB might release

1) Harshal Patel

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Source: Twitter)

Harshal Patel, once the Purple Cap holder with a record-breaking 2021 season, has faced a decline in form since. In IPL 2022, he managed 19 wickets with a commendable economy rate of 7.66. However, IPL 2023 witnessed a dip in his performance, recording only 14 wickets in 13 games at an elevated economy rate of 9.66. His slower ball and yorker, typically his strengths, faltered at crucial moments, leading to profligate spells at the death. Despite being a handy batter, scoring over 60 runs in a season has eluded him. With a hefty price tag of over 10 crores, RCB might contemplate his release.

2) Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik (Image Source: Twitter)

Dinesh Karthik, a seasoned campaigner with an extensive IPL career, showcased signs of slowing down in IPL 2023. In the last season the wicket-keeper recorded only 140 runs at an average of 11.67 and a strike rate of 134.62. Struggling against spin, his once-effective pace game dwindled. The 38-year-old, at times, appeared as a walking wicket, with questionable glovework. His substantial price tag of ₹5.5 crores raises financial considerations, questioning his retention as a one-dimensional player.

3) Anuj Rawat

Anuj Rawat
Anuj Rawat (Image Source: Twitter)

After an impressive 2022 season, Anuj Rawat failed to meet expectations in IPL 2023. Despite an unbeaten 91, his overall contribution dwindled to just 91 runs in nine games. RCB, aiming for consistent performers, might explore alternative options to fortify their batting lineup.

Also READ: IPL 2024: RCB appoints new director of cricket operations

4) Wanindu Hasaranga

Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga (Image Source: Twitter)

Wanindu Hasaranga, theoretically a valuable T20 all-rounder, faced underutilization in IPL 2023. Despite offering deadly overs and spin-hitting capabilities, RCB seemed hesitant to rely on him. With just 33 runs at a strike rate of 117.86 and nine wickets at an economy rate of 8.9 in eight matches, his role was limited. Considering his high price tag of over 10 crores, RCB might weigh the option of releasing him or renegotiating at a lower price.

5) Finn Allen

Finn Allen
Finn Allen (Image Source: Twitter)

Finn Allen, the destructive opener from New Zealand, has been part of RCB since 2021 but is yet to secure a playing XI spot. With no game time so far, his potential remains unfulfilled. Considering this, RCB might contemplate his release and explore alternative options for the opening slot in the upcoming season

Assessing the releases and building for the future

As RCB contemplates potential releases, the focus extends beyond individual performances. The franchise aims to construct a balanced and competitive squad that can navigate challenges effectively, ultimately securing the elusive IPL title in 2024. Decisions will hinge on a comprehensive evaluation, encompassing player performances, team dynamics, and financial considerations to craft a winning combination.

Also READ: IPL 2024: Ravichandran Ashwin points out two key players to watch out for ahead of the auction

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