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IPL 2022 Auction: 'Decision on Captaincy After Auction,' Says RCB's Mike Hesson

IPL 2022 Auction: 'Decision on Captaincy After Auction,' Says RCB's Mike Hesson

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Mike Hesson, Director of Cricket Operations at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Saturday said the franchise will decide on their captain once the ongoing 2022 IPL mega auction is over.

On Saturday -- Day 1 of the auction -- Bangalore picked Faf du Plessis, Dinesh Karthik, Josh Hazlewood, Anuj Rawat and Akash Deep apart from buying back last year's players Harshal Patel and Wanindu Hasaranga.

"We haven't had that discussion yet. We have got three incredible leaders in our group. The likes of Maxwell, Virat and Faf so we are really happy with those three leaders. Also, we got Josh Hazlewood, a leader from a bowling point of view. We are really happy with the group in terms of combination leaders. We will make the decision around captaincy after the auction," said Hesson in the virtual press conference.

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Hesson expressed delight over buying back Patel, who was the leading wicket-taker in the 2021 edition with 32 wickets and made his India T20I debut against New Zealand last year. Bangalore battled past attempts from Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings for a whopping sum of INR 10.75 crore.

"We are very happy as a group. We worked very hard in trying to get back a lot of our core for this year. It became pretty difficult on a few occasions. But we were delighted to get Harshal Patel back. I think we saw from all the all-rounders, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur and to get 10.75 crore for a proven performer like Harshal was a good buy. We are really pleased to get him back."

Hesson was also happy to secure the services of Dinesh Karthik who made his return into the RCB fold after 2015. "We are really happy with the middle order and also got the likes of DK, which gives us experience through the middle and is really important to sort of control some of the more talented players that we have got around him."

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Hesson backed the specialist skills of Hasaranga, the leg-spin all-rounder from Sri Lanka, to come good in the absence of Yuzvendra Chahal, who was snapped by Rajasthan Royals. "In terms of Wanindu Hasaranga, last year we had other options with Chahal as the local spinner. He gives us balance and has got the ability to bat anywhere between five and eight and has got some specialist skills in that area. He can bowl in power-play and middle order as well. So, he's got some skills there."

"We would have loved to go for Yuzvendra Chahal but the challenge is that without budget, Chahal was coming later in the auction. We knew there was a risk and was undervalued in terms of what he went for. We felt that with Hasaranga, a multi-skill player, we had another way of going about it. That was the strategy and we pretty much paid bang on in our budget for most buys today."

Hesson further remarked that they tried to buy back opener Devdutt Padikkal but he went to Rajasthan. "In terms of buying back RCB players, we had a good go at Devdutt Padikkal. Obviously, a local boy, a promising player. So, we had a go at him and get him back but then he got out of our price range."

Hesson signed off by saying that RCB still have lots of work to do on the second and final day of the mega auction. "We have got some work to do tomorrow and not getting too far ahead of ourselves. When you are building a bowling attack with the likes of Siraj and Hazlewood, obviously mainly being power-play bowlers and Harshal Patel does his work mainly through middle and end and is trying to give that versatility. We have also got Shahbaz Ahmed, who can bowl in different phases as well. We got flexibility in terms of group we have. But as I said, we still got work to do."

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