'McCullum brings leadership skills'

Vettori heaps praise on Kohli, Sundar

'McCullum brings leadership skills'

The Royal Challengers Bangalore made some thoughtful purchases at this January's IPL Auction and one among them was Brendon McCullum. Although the Kiwi retired from international cricket in February 2016, he still goes around the world causing damages with his bat and enriching franchises with his experience and knowledge.

RCB coach Daniel Vettori said that was the primary thinking behind roping in his former colleague. "He brings runs, leadership and a style of play we really want to
bring to Bangalore. He's going to be a confidante to (skipper) Virat (Kohli), because of
all his leadership skills. He's a great fielder and sets the standard in every aspect," said Vettori following a practice session at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday night.

"We were really desperate to have those leaders within the group. We probably had just AB (de Villiers) and Virat last year. Now we've added a few more guys -- Brendon, Parthiv Patel and Quinton de Kock who we think is a strong leader as well. There's a number of guys who we think can step into those roles."

Vettori lavished praise on Kohli for his intensity and work ethic. "You admire people who want to be involved in everything. He's desperate to do well all the time and generally that's for his country. It's a great example to everyone who plays the game, all around the world. The likes of Brendon talk about already being inspired by how hard he works. It's a real example to everyone.

"I'm happy he's had rest (before IPL). He's got his normal energy and he's excited to be here and excited to do well. I see it as a real positive. He was resting from games, but I don't think he was resting from the intensity he brings to training or his fitness regime. You can tell he's worked really hard on all of that. I don't expect to see any downturn in his form. It's just that he's had a chance to step away from the pressure of playing for India."

Vettori also spoke highly about spinning all-rounder Washington Sundar, who had an outstanding Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka where he impressed all with his clever bowling in the Power Play. "We'd seen enough of him to know that he was that high a level of player. He's got a high skill-set, not just in his bowling but also his batting. We consider him a really strong all-rounder. We knew he'd play a really important role for us."

Vettori said even RCB would be looking to exploit his Power Play skills. "I think so. That's what he did with Pune (Rising Punesupergiant) as well last year. And pretty much his whole T20 career he's bowled early on. That's something we'll look to utilise."

One major player three-time runners-up RCB chose to let go was fan favourite Chris Gayle. Vettori said it was a hard choice to make but the team wanted to move in a new direction. "Chris has been an integral part of RCB for 7 years. You look at all our batting records; Chris dominates them all. So we know how important a part of our franchise he was. It's just that in the new auction, the team decided to go a different way. We still wish him the best. He will always be an RCB player in our minds and for the people of Bangalore as well."


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