Major makeover: RCB to put emphasis on talent scouting
BENGALURU: Things and approaches are changing at Royal Challengers Bangalore. Following yet another disappointing run in the previous edition, Simon Katich and Mike Hesson were appointed head coach and director of cricket operations, respectively, last month. Unveiling the support staff on Thursday, it was announced that Malolan Rangarajan would be the head of scouting.
Malolan is an off-spinner from Tamil Nadu, who played for Uttarakhand in the last domestic season. It can be noted that the Bengaluru-based franchise has often splurged money at the auction without being able to recruit effective players. Last season, they bought Shivam Dube for `5 crore and Shimron Hetmyer for `4.2 crore. In 2018, they spent `7.4 crore on Chris Woakes. Considering that none of these buys paid dividends, it seems the team led by Virat Kohli will now start looking for talent from the domestic circuit.
Around two scouts will watch the Vijay Hazare Trophy starting next week. By the end of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 competition scheduled later in the year, RCB should zoom in on certain players. “It is a relatively new appointment. There will be one or two (scouts) when it comes to Vijay Hazare. They will identify players and then we will look at Mushtaq Ali. We will have around five people at each zones for the T20 tournament. We do not want to look at hundreds of players, but a select group. We are not looking at players who everyone is watching, but whom we have identified and watched over a period of time,” said Hesson.
The Kiwi also wants to spot players who are not well known. “I will be doing most of the overseas players scouting. Malolan and me will be watching tournaments around the world. The key is finding players not everyone knows about. We can think about names that have been bought for not much...but in three years, they are pretty good. Big part of what we are doing is that we are well ahead of the game,” added Hesson.
Kohli and AB de Villiers will hold the key and Katich believes they should be relieved of pressure. “What is probably required is taking pressure off them and surrounding them with guys who are able to compliment them and play the roles they can and maybe not feel the pressure that they have to win every game for RCB.”
Director of Cricket Operations: Mike Hesson
Head Coach: Simon Katich
Bowling Coach: Adam Griffith
Batting & Spin Bowling Coach: Sriram Sridharan
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Shanker Basu
Physio: Evan Speechly
Head of Scouting: Malolan Rangarajan