When Shane Watson was added to an RCB team that already had Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, Chris Gayle and Mitchell Starc, albeit an injured one, during the IPL 2016 Player Auction, you felt it was unfair – no one team can surely be so ridiculously power-packed. So, how would this desperate-to-win-their-first-IPL-title Royal Challengers Bangalore team look if they bought one of the most explosive all-rounders in the game today during the IPL 2017 auction?
Ben Stokes has already confirmed he will take part in the upcoming season of the IPL, provided somebody buys him during the Player Auction, set to be held in Bengaluru on February 4.
While English players are always looked at with a bit of suspicion by the franchises, mainly due to their availability issues, nobody will want to pass up Stokes, even if the Englishman might not be able to play the entire season.
Best all-rounder out there
Stokes, right now, is the best pace bowling all-rounder out there, with his ability to win games with both bat and ball a skill that will have all eight IPL franchises drooling for his signature.
The Englishman showed his true all-round worth during the third one-day international against India, first striking a brilliant 39-ball 57 to give England the extra runs they needed to prevent the home team from chasing down the total, before taking three wickets in the second innings.
RCB going to raise that paddle?
So, when Stokes comes up under the auction block and his name is read out by Richard Madley, will RCB be one of the teams to show an interest?
That is a really good question to ask, because to have Stokes play in a team which will have Kohli, De Villiers, Gayle and Watson, will be like one of those fantasy squads.
The problem, though, lies in the fact that RCB already have their fast bowling all-rounder in Watson, who was fantastic for the Bengaluru franchise last season.
Watson might not be an international cricketer anymore, but his ability to bowl brilliant spells during the death overs, take crucial wickets in the innings and whack a few when required with the bat is a precious resource to have.
The Watson and Stokes similarity
Stokes does the same thing as well – whether he will do it better than Watson or not in the IPL only time will tell – so to have two similar players, and crucially, overseas players, will be too much of a luxury for RCB to have. Indeed, there were times last season, when even Gayle, the great West Indian marauder, struggled to get into the RCB playing XI.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore, however, are known for luxury – hey, they have Kohli, De Villiers, Gayle and Starc in the same team – so you wouldn't be entirely surprised if that paddle gets raised when Stokes is up for auction.
Kohli's love for Stokes?
You also feel, Kohli would have put in a good word for Stokes, knowing just how dynamic a player he is. While the two might not have seen eye to eye during this long India vs England tour, there is little doubt that there is tremendous mutual respect there, and Kohli would love to take that mutual respect and turn it into some teammate love.
Unlikely, though, it might be, considering the resources already at RCB's disposal – some other franchise is likely to bid higher as well – there is no harm in dreaming of a team that has Kohli, De Villiers, Gayle, Starc, Watson and Stokes.
You might only be able to play four overseas players, but boy that would be as close to an unbeatable team as you can get.