BENGALURU: The Royal Challengers Bangalore have had a poor run in the last three seasons, failing to qualify for the play-offs even once on all three occasions. A change in coaching staff last season didn’t work either and the franchise parted ways with coaches Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra.
In the search for a turnaround, RCB roped in Mike Hesson as the Director of Cricket Operations along with Simon Katich as the new coach for the 2020 season last week.
However, where they really lacked was good domestic players who the team could bank on. Apart from their skipper Virat Kohli, star batsman AB de Villiers and spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, none seemed to have clicked for the Indian Premier League franchise during this period. In addition, they have hardly utilised the vast Karnataka talent pool.
Young Karnataka opener Devdutt Padikkal was the only local player RCB had last season in their roster and he too remained unutilised.
Hesson, although, didn’t want to pass on the opportunity to scout for a few faces from the state T20 league. Present as a commentator in the ongoing Karnataka Premier League (KPL) in Mysuru, the Kiwi had a look at the Karnataka players. Since inception, the KPL has been the breeding ground for spotting and promoting talent. Many players have emerged from the tournament and have gone on to impress in the IPL.
“This is just a chance to look at some talent. Obviously, there is some in the catchment areas of Karnataka. It’s about gathering information. The more talent we spot the better. In all areas of the game, India has a huge talent pool. It’s really about maximising the talent and that’s what our job is as coaches.
That will be my role at RCB. If we get the right people in place, things will naturally fall into place. It’s about creating an environment where players can go and express themselves,” said Hesson, who also served as the coach of Kings XI Punjab last season.
With Katich at the helm, Hesson, who lost the India coaching race to incumbent Ravi Shastri, hopes to turn things around for RCB. “Simon was on the radar for RCB for a while, and rightfully so because he’s very talented. He was part of our discussions too.
I feel like RCB have gotten the right man for the job. We hope to put our best foot forward,” said Hesson.
“The key fact in any new place is to immerse yourself entirely in the experience, rather than trying to impose your views and the way you work.
You need to be doing the adapting. It’s not the other way around. In that sense, we’ll have to wait a while and see how things play out.”