BENGALURU: Auction strategies of IPL franchises are at times hard to fathom. It is even tougher to comprehend the thought process of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Bengaluru-based franchise, who went into the auction with a purse of Rs 35.4 crore, splurged Rs 29.25 crore on two players – New Zealander Kyle Jamieson (Rs 15 crore) and Australia’s Glenn Maxwell (Rs 14.25 crore).
With the inclusion of Jamieson, RCB seemed to have addressed bowling in the death overs and the need for an overseas pacer to replace Chris Morris. But what could come back to haunt Virat Kohli & Co is their batting line-up.
Having let go of Aaron Finch, RCB had limited their options to open alongside Devdutt Padikkal. They also needed to firm up their middle and lower order, for which Maxwell may not be the only winning solution. Also, 37-year-old Dan Christian at Rs 4.80 crore doesn’t really add up.
Jamieson, the 26-year-old pace all-rounder, has turned up for his country in just four T20 internationals, his T20 tally overall stands at 38 matches with a record best of 6 for 7. Standing tall at 6’8″, the Aucklander returned the record figures during the 2019 Super Smash for Canterbury.
‘MAXWELL AN X FACTOR’
Before winning the bidding war with Punjab Kings for the right-arm quick, RCB were in an extravagant mood. After Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals halted their charge for Maxwell, RCB outbid Chennai Super Kings to bring home Maxwell.
While Maxwell has a proven T20 record, he managed just 108 runs in 13 outings, while picking up three wickets for Kings XI Punjab in the 2020 season. In the season before that, in 12 matches he managed 169 runs and five wickets. That said, playing for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash earlier this year, he scored 379 runs in 13 innings with three half-centuries and RCB will hope he would better himself when he returns to India this summer.
Mike Hesson, the cricket head of RCB, called Maxwell an X factor.
“We were after the X factor player and we got that in the form of Maxwell. He is a multi-skilled player and can bowl off-spin as well. It depends on what the team wants, we look at how to bring the best out of him,” he said.