All eyes were on Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore when the 2020 edition of the IPL auctions took place in the ‘City of Joy’ Kolkata on December 19th. For long, the RCB- despite boasting of two of the best batsmen in the world in the form of captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers- have flattered to deceive. And, their insipid team-selections, shoddy death bowling and an overall lack of team-balance have been at the heart of their struggles.
The Kohli-led franchise finished with a wooden spoon for the second time in the past three seasons last year, and with so many holes plaguing their squad, the Challengers needed to have a good auction in order to strengthen the fledgling unit. However, the Mike Hesson and Simon Katch-led management did little to strengthen their middle-order with local Indian talent, ignoring the likes of Rohan Kadam. Instead, the management went for an opener in the form of Aaron Finch, besides bolstering their fast bowling unit with seam-bowling all-rounder Chris Morris, Isuru Udana and specialist pacers in Dale Steyn and Kane Richardson.
And, Virat Kohli is very happy with the way the squad is shaping up after the auction. “I am very happy with the players that we have selected and really looking forward to the new season. We’ve had a lot of discussions on the structure and balance of the team and this looks like a good start for us. I believe it all comes down to every individual to give out their best performance during the league and to enjoy the best form of cricket by playing bold,” Kohli said as quoted by Sportstar.
Mike Hesson explains the thought process behind the auction picks
Meanwhile, RCB’s Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson said that the thinking behind selecting the players that they eventually did was to build a squad that can adapt to any given conditions.
“We want a squad that can have balance and adapts to any conditions both at home and away. To pick players who help us maximize our budget judiciously took a thoughtful approach. I am very pleased with the way auction went. We wanted the majority of our overseas players to bring plenty of international experience in order to add and share knowledge with the exciting developing talents we already have at RCB,” Hesson said.
There were a lot of discussions regarding RCB’s decision to go for opener Aaron Finch, given the fact that franchise already has two openers in the form of Parthiv Patel and the in-form Devdutt Padikkal. But Hesson said that the management wanted someone that could bring a plethora of skills, as well as experience into the set-up and Finch was the best available option.
“When we look at any overseas player to bring to RCB, it’s not only about talent, but where else can they contribute,” he added.
Watch: Dale Steyn’s cheeky run-out attempt against AB de Villiers
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