Well here’s my take on this :
1. Uthappa : Uthappa, though outstanding on his day, can be horrible on other days. Remember 2009 season where Uthappa struggled almost throughout the season (except in 1 match). So, between Uthappa at 1.9 million USD and Saurav Tiwari at 1.6 million USD, I think Tiwari is far more consistent and a better buy.
2. Dravid : Absolutely agree with you on this. David at 500,000 USD is way better than Pujara at 700,000 USD. Apart from his vast experience he brings huge fan loyality to the table which a T20 franchise simply cant or shouldnt ignore
3. Vinay Kumar :To be fair, RCB went for Vinay in the auction but after a few bids he became unaffordable. So, I wont blame RCB not not buying Vinay Kumar. I am sure if Vinay went for sale on Day1 of the auction, RCB would have bagged him. But on day 2, RCB had very little cash to spare. If memory serves me right, Vinay went for about 475,000 and RCB had about 700,000 to spare at that time. 700,000 to buy about another 15 more players !!! So, its understandable that they bought Mithun instead for about 250,000
4. Stuart Binny : Look at the things from his perspective. First, RCB didnt sign him for first 3 years. Also, he has seen lots of domestic cricketers mostly warming the bench for RCB without getting a chance to appear in playing XI and even if they got a chane there was very little tolerance for failure (e.g: Chipli, Apanna, Jaffer, Nayan Doshi, Mithun, Sreevats, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and even India under19 captain Ashok Menaria). Also, even though he got an IPL contract with Mumbai Indians in 2010, he payed just one match. So, now that he received offers from both RCB and Rajasthan Royals, its understandable that he’d choose Royals because there’s a much higher possibilty of featuring in playing XI. Infact, he himself confirmed this in ann interview.
5. Chipli : Similar case as Binny. He was with RCB for last 3 years - played just a copule of matches in IPL-1. Why would he want to stick to RCB ?
6. Ross Taylor : similar to Uthappa - he is outstanding on his day, below average on other. Since we had Kallis we could afford to have somebody like Ross (case in point, Ross did absolutely nothing in IPL -3). Also, AB DeVilliers at the same price, is way better option than Ross.
7. Steyn : Outstnading bowler but he comes at an outstanding price tag as well. Steyn went for 1.2 million USD at the auction. There was no way RCB would have bought him and rataining him would have costed 1.4 million USD - an equally huge amount.
Having defended RCB management so far I’d still say that they goofed up in many aspects :
1. Not retaining Kallis : Though a slow starter, Kallis is immensely valuable as an all-rounder. He provided stability which allowed players like Ross/Kohli/KP/Uthappa to go for the bowling. Also having Kallis in the side meant no worries about 5th bowler. Now we have Dilshan instead of Kallis and he is struggling to fit into kallis’ boots.
2. Going for Pujara : Pujara might have potential, but he is untested material in T20. Paying 700,000 for Pujara looks ridiculous when you can get Dravid for 500,000 or Shikhar Dhawan for 300,000. Just imagine Shikhar Dhawan, Naman Ojha and Vinay Kumar in the squad instead of Pujara and Mithun and the side would have been so much better.
3. Going for Zaheer : Zaheer had already expressed his reluctance to play for any side other than Mumbai Indians in IPL 2008. Why repeat the same mistake again ?
4. Going for too many big names : RCB went for too many high priced players (Kohli, AB, Zaheer, Dilshan, Nannes, Tiwari, Pujara). So, they had almost nothing left to buy a reserve bench. so, now when Dilshan leaves we have nobody to replace him. Instead RCB could have gone for relatively smaller names at lower prices (e.g: Brad Hodge + Ryan Ten Doeschate + Adam Voges instead of just Dilshan or Morne Morkel + Juan Theron + Tim Southee instead of just Nannes )