The purchase of Steve Smith for just Rs 2.2 crore was one of the shocks of the recently concluded player auction ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. The Australian star was taken over by Delhi Capitals (DC ) after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) made an initial offer and pulled out as soon as another offer was made for him and without any other team interested, he was sold for just a fraction above his starting price. RCB on Tuesday released a video of their mock auctions ahead of the main event, where their think tank – including their cricket operations manager, Mike Hesson – is seen discussing in detail the strategy for bidding for Smith, then withdraw.
Bold Diaries: The Curious Case of Steve Smith’s candidacy
– Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) February 23, 2021
At first, Hesson is seen exclaiming that they shouldn’t go looking for Smith because he doesn’t provide them with a bowling option. “Anyone who beats out there has to be able to bowling,” Hesson says.
He later clarifies that they are primarily looking for a batsman, but that he should be able to provide a bowling option – which their eventual purchase, Glenn Maxwell, provides.
RCB bought Maxwell – who also plays off-spin – for a whopping Rs 14.25 crore after a bidding war with Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
“I’m not even sure whoever is going to bid for him in the first round,” Hesson said later.
Then in another clip from another meeting, Hesson explains his bidding strategy for the former Australian captain.
“The best thing we can do is bid for him early and get out,” he said.
“So if CSK buys it, for example, they can’t go and get Maxwell,” Hesson says. “They are the only ones at the moment who can outbid us.”
“And if we have Steve Smith left for Rs 2 crore, it’s not the end of the world,” he adds.
Hesson is also seen betting that Smith would not go for more than Rs 4 crore in the auction.
RCB ended up spending big in the auction for Maxwell and New Zealand all-rounder Kyle Jamieson (Rs 15 crore).
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