Mike Hesson, the director of cricket operations for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), has made a strong statement that the team will start the batting in IPL 2023 with Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis.
The former New Zealand coach also explained the tactics used to win the mini-auction bid for the English team of Will Jacks and Reece Topley.
At the auction, the RCB had an exciting day after making unsuccessful bids for players like Cameron Green, Sam Curran, and Ben Stokes. The English left-arm seamer Reece Topley cost the three-time finalists INR 1.9 crores, and he was their first acquisition.
Will Jacks, who made his debut for a foreign team in September, was accepted by both Rajasthan Royals and RCB. He cost INR 3.2 crore to purchase. As quoted by ESPN Cricinfo, he said:
“We know the skills and attributes Topley brings. We were delighted to pick him up for 1.90 crore and gave us some flexibility. Thought he would be 3-4 crore and that allowed us to bid for Jacks. Faf and Virat are highly likely to open the batting for us. In smaller auctions, the prices can be significantly higher than the big auctions.”
Reece Topley, a limited-overs expert, has impressive T20 stats, capturing 168 wickets in 131 T20 matches at a strike rate of 22.01. On the other hand, Jacks has a respectable bowling average of 25.47 and a strike rate of 154.39 in 102 T20 matches.
We’re very happy to retain the 18 players” – Mike Hesson
Mike Hesson also admitted that they were aware that all-rounders Ben Stokes and Sam Curran were out of their budget and hence, wanted to stick to their squad.
“We knew Stokes and Curran would be higher than what we could afford. We made the playoffs and had a pretty strong side, we spent a lot of time before the big auction and we expect them to give us good returns. We’re very happy to retain the 18 players.”