Virat Kohli’s record as the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper might have been below-par but the team’s newly-appointed Director of Cricket Mike Hesson ruled out any change in leadership for the under-performing franchise in the next IPL edition.
Despite stars like Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle (for better part), RCB has not won the IPL since the event’s inception. Kohli has led the team in seven of those seasons.
Hesson nipped questions on Kohli controlling the team and change in captaincy in the bud.
“We don’t have that perception that Virat controls things. But may be he has had his learnings from the past (mistakes) while moving forward,” Hesson said during a media interaction on Thursday.
Hesson said Kohli has been on the same page as him and chief coach Simon Katich.
“There has been no question mark over Virat’s captaincy during last couple of weeks (of discussions),” Hesson clarified.
“...we have been very much aligned and he has been more than happy to take our advice from our experience,” the former New Zealand coach added.
RCB’s questionable recruitment has come in for a lot of criticism but Hesson assured that this time they are looking at specific players and not hundreds of options.
“There will be big focus on recruitment. Once auction gets completed, the work starts then, not a week before the tournament starts. We would have clarity in roles that players need to perform,” he said.
On recruitment of domestic players, Hesson said there are specific players they would be looking at and not just statistical highlights during the Mushtaq Ali or Vijay Hazare Trophy.
“During Vijay Hazare and Mushtaq Ali Trophy, we would like to see players we want to fit in. It’s more about finding out how players build context around performance, conditions and pressure situations,” he said.
Hesson also agreed that the team needs to consider consistent performances and not one odd innings before selecting players.
“Form is a factor but we need to be more holistic in terms of how we talent scout. We look at four-year period as then they are ready to deliver when put under the pump. It doesn’t happen after one good season,” he said.
Shanker Basu returns to RCB as trainer, Sriram named batting and spin bowling coach
Former India trainer Shanker Basu was appointed as strength and conditioning coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore for the next season of the Indian Premier League.
Basu thus made a return to the RCB dugout after his successful stint with the national team ended with India’s semifinal exit from this year’s ICC ODI World Cup in the UK.
He was with the RCB before joining the national team in 2015 and is regarded as one of the best trainers in India.
Besides Basu, former India cricketer Sridharan Sriram has been appointed as the batting and spin bowling coach of the IPL franchise.
Sriram, who played eight ODIs for India, had also served as spin bowling coach of the Australian cricket team.
He parted ways with Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) prior to IPL 2019 to join Kings XI Punjab.
RCB also appointed Australia’s Adam Griffith as the bowling coach, while South Africa’s Evan Speechly has been named as the team’s physiotherapist.
Besides, the Bangalore franchise has named Malolan Rangarajan as its head of scouting while Major Soumyadeep Pyne will be the team manager.
RCB had earlier named former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson as its Director of Cricket Operations and Australian Simon Katich as the team’s head coach.