IPL Auction: RCB spend fortune on Morris, get Finch too

IPL Auction: RCB spend fortune on Morris, get Finch too

Chris Morris. AFP

Royal Challengers Bangalore have put together a side worthy of a second glance and then some, yet again. But desperation was writ on their faces still as their plans - which showed itself in the bidding strategy - didn’t exactly pan out the way they would have wanted.

They did manage to snag Aaron Finch for Rs 4.4 crore right off the bat and Chris Morris for Rs 10 crore, a rather large sum for the South African pacer, but they couldn’t get Pat Cummins or Alex Carey, players they bid hard for. 

Cummins’ loss to Kolkata Knight Riders was the biggest disappointment of the day for Virat Kohli’s side as they went in for the Australian, momentarily ignoring that they had only Rs 27.90 crores to spare and 12 slots to fill. They went till Rs 15.5 crore before pulling out, leaving Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata to battle it out. 

They then jumped at the opportunity for Morris, beating Punjab and Mumbai Indians to the gavel strike. It must be said that Mumbai came into that bid knowing well that Bangalore were desperate for the paceman, and they succeeded in the hiking the price significantly. 

Bangalore also ended up paying a hefty Rs 4 crore for Kane Richardson, the paceman, after an intense battle with Rajasthan Royals. Losing out on Carey did seem to affect them a fair bit, but Josh Phillippe’s buyout for Rs 20 lakh was a steal. So was buying Dale Steyn in the second accelerated bidding process for his base price of Rs 2 crore. 

To add a local flavour to the side, which has often been criticised for being anything but, they roped in the attacking middle-order batsman Pavan Deshpande for Rs 20 lakh during the accelerated bidding process. Deshpande should help cake a middle-order with the reputation to leak. It’s no Carey, but it’ll do. 

Bangalore would have expected a fairly better run in the process after bagging Finch early on. There was some resistance to their first bid of the day as Kolkata too went for the Australian opener, but the management lead by director of cricket Mike Hesson, kept the paddle up long enough to add more muscle to their already-burgeoning line-up. 

“Finch brings a lot of experience to the group,” said Hesson. “But he’s not in as the second captain or anything like that, he’s there for the experience and to help Virat to the best of his ability. He is super experienced. 

“We’re just glad that we managed to bag the big boys early on,” he added.

In the second accelerated process, they came away with Sri Lankan left-arm paceman Isuru Udana and a relatively unknown Shahbaz Ahamad (left-arm spinner) from Haryana. They ended the auction with Rs 6.40 crore in their purse and the smallest squad among all teams with 21 players in all. 

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