IPL - December 13, 2020

IPL 2021 : Mike Hesson declares RCB will have new squad in 2021

Mike Hesson, Director of Cricket, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Saturday said that the squad will need a little bit of tweaking heading into next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

Hesson also said that the final decisions about the squad can only be made once it is known whether there will be a mega auction next year or not. RCB bowed out of IPL 2020 on Friday, as the side suffered a loss against SunRisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator clash.

“We have already had initial discussions, we will let the dust settle first, we will gather a lot of ideas firstly, we also need to find facts whether there is a small auction or big auction next year, the core group is good but we do need a little bit of tweaking, the middle order cannot be fixed just by overseas players. It is always a balancing act in terms of how we do it, that is why the development of Padikkal and Washington Sundar is so important for us, regardless of it being a big or small auction,” said Hesson while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.

When asked about the biggest promising signs for RCB this season, Hesson replied: “I think the performance of young Indian players is the biggest promising sign for us moving forward, the key to any successful franchise in the IPL are your Indian players. The fact that we have been able to provide a consistent opportunity to the likes of Padikkal, Saini, Sundar, Siraj just to name a few, they have been exceptional and they are growing their game. They are going to give us the backbone of this team going forward, we need a core group of Indians and we have started to develop a bigger core, that’s promising.”

RCB had finished the group stage at the fourth spot with 14 points from 14 matches. Devdutt Padikkal was the leading run-scorer for RCB as he finished with 473 runs while Yuzvendra Chahal took 21 wickets for the side.

The Virat Kohli-led side struggled to score runs at a brisk pace during the middle phase of the innings, and this can be termed as the one major reason for RCB losing its last five matches this season.

Talking about the middle order, Hesson said: “This was pretty much a season of two halves, the strike rate of our middle order in the first eight matches, we were second best in the competition. It was not an issue for the entirety of the tournament. It manifested itself in our last few matches, we were not able to adapt quickly, we obviously batted first in our last five matches and it provided a different challenge to us, we provided a number of opportunities to different players in that position and it is fair to say that we did not get the right balance especially towards the back end. It is something we need to keep looking at. It was not an issue for the entire tournament, it just manifested itself through the latter half.”

This was the first year that Hesson was involved with the RCB group. Speaking about his and head coach Simon Katich’s experience, Hesson said: “The one thing that Simon and I have managed to achieve this year is to understand the players and have first-hand knowledge of them. We have gotten to know them intimately, we have an idea of the type of players we would like to have on our side, we have gathered a lot of good information. We know we have some areas where we would need a little bit of tweaking, but the actual base of our side is very good. We surely need to add some finishing touches.”

“I really enjoyed working with this group, it was a new supporting group as well, the fact that we have been together helped us in building those relationships and to understand our roles. We have worked really hard, we know the players go through wins and losses, we are also trying to be nice and level, the players need to know that they can rely on us, that is one thing we have worked on as support staff to get that level of consistency,” he added

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