Mike Hesson reveals RCB captain Virat Kohli’s reaction: RCB’s director of cricket opened up on his conversation with the captain.
Having released plenty of players last month, Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore were expected to actively participate in the auction for IPL 2020 conducted in Kolkata on Thursday.
In what can be easily termed as a successful auction for the Virat Kohli-led franchise, they bought six overseas and two uncapped local players.
Speaking in a video posted by Royal Challengers, director of cricket Mike Hesson revealed the reason behind them buying Australia limited-overs captain Aaron Finch in the auction.
— Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) December 19, 2019
“We want someone who takes the pressure off AB [de Villiers] and Virat [Kohli], so we’ve got a world-class player. Looking at the rankings, we’ve got three of the top five players in the world in terms of the last few years of T20 cricket so that is exciting,” Hesson was quoted as saying.
Mike Hesson reveals RCB captain Virat Kohli’s reaction
Royal Challengers had included South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn for a second stint in the last season of the tournament. Steyn, who was brought in as a replacement for injured Australia fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile, picked four wickets in two matches at an average of 17.25, an economy rate of 8.62 and a strike rate of 12.
While Hesson had pointed out Steyn’s fitness as the reason behind releasing him in the past, it seems his form in the recently concluded Mzansi Super League convinced RCB’s team management to buy him in this auction. In eight matches, Steyn had dismissed 15 batsmen at an average of 15.13, an economy rate of 7.09 and a strike rate of 12.8.
“We knew we wanted Steyn but we knew if we put a bid on him early, it might have gone up to three or four crore, which would have had flow-on effects. It was the same with Isuru Udana as well.
“We thought Udana was going to be well sought after, so we had to slow-play that one a little bit. In the end, it worked out the way we wanted but it did require a sense of patience, which is not one of my main attributes,” Hesson said.
Opening up on his conversation with Kohli during the auction and his reaction on RCB buying Steyn and Udana, Hesson disclosed the skipper’s feeling of RCB going to “sleep” during the middle part of the auction.
“I probably exchanged a couple of hundred messages with Virat [Kohli, the RCB captain] for a couple of hours. I think he thought we went to sleep in the middle for a couple of hours as well, but he was well aware of what our planning was. He was keen at the end, as we were, to get Udana and Steyn,” Hesson added.