Five possible replacements for AB de Villiers at RCB
Following AB de Villiers’ retirement from all forms of cricket on Friday, IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore will have the tough task of replacing ‘Mr. 360’. We look at the potential candidates the team could target at the mega-auctions in order to fill the huge void.
AB de Villiers was a key member for RCB over the years, scoring 4,522 runs for the franchise at an average of 41.10 and a strike rate of over 158. The South Africa player struck at over 150 in eight of his last ten IPL seasons to bow out as one of the greatest batters of the league.
Though irreplaceable, RCB could look at the following players to fill the spot left vacant by de Villiers.
Though an opener, David Warner could be an ideal fit in the RCB XI. The Australia opener, who recently ended the T20 World Cup with the Player of the Tournament award, showed that he still has it in him despite a lean patch of form that put a question mark over his future. Dropped from the SRH side in the latter half of IPL 2021 due to non-cricket reasons, the left-hander might have played his last game for the Orange Army, and could enter the auction pool ahead of the 2022 season.
With RCB on the lookout for a new captain as well following Virat Kohli’s resignation, Warner, who led SRH to the title in 2016, could be an excellent purchase. RCB’s batting approach, with Devdutt Padikkal and Kohli as openers has been criticized for an inability to get going in the powerplay overs, and the addition of Warner boosts the aggressive quotient.
The West Indian has all the shots in his book and has been earmarked as the player to watch out for. A versatile player, who can be used anywhere in the middle order, has made vital contributions for Delhi Capitals in the last two seasons, scoring runs at a strike rate of 148 and 168.05, respectively. A threat in the death overs with the bat, Hetmyer is also a gun fielder.
The South Africa batter made his IPL debut earlier this year and ended with decent figures of 146 runs from six innings. Taking his team Punjab Kings out of tough situations more often than not, Aiden Markram impressed with his calm demeanor in pressure moments. He continued his form in the T20 World Cup as well, registering scores of 40, 51*, 19, 0, and 52* in a campaign where South Africa narrowly missed out of the semis due to net run rate. Overall, in 20 T20Is, Markram has scored 588 runs at an average of 39.20 with a strike rate of 147 and could be a good fit at No.4.
The England player is a strong hitter of the ball and can tee off immediately. With 160 T20 matches under his belt, Liam Livingstone has plenty of experience, which is what RCB needs in their middle order. He has played 14 T20Is thus far, striking at an astonishing 165.78, and, along with Glenn Maxwell, could wreak havoc for RCB in the end overs.
Though Eoin Morgan had a terrible — and that’s putting it mildly — IPL season this year, scoring runs at an average of 11.08 and a strike rate of 95.68, his captaincy was much applauded after he took Kolkata Knight Riders to the finals of the event. Struggling with two wins from seven games in the first half of the season, the team bounced back strongly to win seven of their next ten matches to make the top two. RCB, without a title in 14 years, needs all the inspiration they can to go the distance, and Morgan’s presence could be just what the team needs. The fact that he is one of the best white-ball batters when he gets going is further incentive to bid for the England skipper.