The IPL 2020 auctions proved to be quite a surprise given the number of players that had initially registered. More than 970 players had registered out of which 338 were shortlisted with 6 players being added on the day of the auction on December 19. The first lot of the players were of the highest price bracket of INR 2 crore base price.
Many of the franchises had released 5-6 players, but Royal Challengers Bangalore had released more than 11 players before the auction and had only two overseas players in their squad in AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali. They had gone for a purge of the squad while looking to recruit new look players under the leadership of the new Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson and coach Simon Katich. Minute planning went into this, which included brainstorming sessions with the team owners and management.
Aaron Finch was a target in the mock auction
Hesson had revealed after the auction that the management had decided to conduct a few mock auctions in order to get the feel of the real-time thing. “Our plan going into the auction was to look at players that will combine and well with the retained squad. We want a squad that can balance and can adapt to any conditions both at home and away. The majority of work goes on prior to auction around strategy, this includes a number of mock auctions and gives us a much better chance to maximize the budget we have at our disposal,” Hesson was quoted as saying by India Today.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise’s Twitter account shared a video recently which featured the mock auction with focus on Australia limited-overs captain Aaron Finch. The RCB team was looking for an impactful opener who could aid Kohli and De Villiers in making big scores and Finch’s T20I record is impeccable. He is the only batsman with two scores of over 150 in international cricket.
Here is the video of the mock auction for Aaron Finch:
Simon Katich and @CoachHesson had their planning spot on to get the Australian captain Aaron Finch at the #IPLAuction. We documented the mock auction to reveal a fascinating story.#BidForBold #PlayBold #IPL2020 pic.twitter.com/96JYOSQwML
— Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) December 23, 2019
In the real auction, the RCB franchise had bought eight new players to fill various gaps in their plans for next year’s edition. They bid for and acquired Aaron Finch, Dale Steyn, Isuru Udana, Chris Morris, Kane Richardson, Shahbaz Ahmed, Joshua Philippe and Pavan Deshpande in the auction, strengthening their side in a bid for a maiden IPL title in 2020.
“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,” RCB skipper Kohli had said in a statement after the auction.
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