Gautam Gambhir, former Indian cricketer has criticized the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) franchise for releasing a plethora of as many as 10 players before the IPL 2021 Auction.
He even sarcastically mentioned that Mike Hesson, Director of Cricket Operations, and head coach Simon Katich not getting axed was the best thing for the franchise.
Gautam Gambhir: Biggest Positive For RCB Is Retention Of Mike Hesson And Simon Katich As The Franchise Released 10 Players
RCB have retained just 12 squad members before the IPL 2021 auction and let go of 10 players. The release list includes recently-retired Parthiv Patel and Dale Steyn, who opted out of the upcoming edition of the cash-rich league. During a discussion on the Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Gautam Gambhir was asked if it was a fair call by RCB to release an injury-prone Chris Morris. The Bengaluru-based franchise could utilize the extra budget to bring in someone like Cameron Green.
The former Indian opener responded by pointing out that although Cameron Green has shown early promise, he cannot match the South African all-rounder’s experience. He also suggested that Mike Hesson and Simon Katich were probably lucky to retain their jobs, considering the franchise’s past record.
“The biggest positive for RCB is that they have retained Mike Hesson and Simon Katich because I even had a doubt that they might release them as well. I don’t think Cameron Green has the experience of Chris Morris. Yes, you might have seen Cameron Green bowling at 135-140 kph but IPL is a completely different beast,” said Gambhir.
RCB released Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Aaron Finch, Chris Morris, Pavan Negi, Parthiv Patel (retired), Dale Steyn (unavailable), Isuru Udana, Umesh Yadav from their IPL 2020 squad before IPL 2021.
Gautam Gambhir: RCB Should Have Stayed With Chris Morris For Another Year Working On His Fitness
Gautam Gambhir was further asked for his opinion whether it would have been okay for RCB to risk ₹10 crores on Chris Morris, considering his track record with injuries. Chris Morris scored 34 runs and took 11 wickets in 9 matches after being bought by RCB in IPL 2020 from Delhi Capitals.
The southpaw replied he would have preferred RCB to go that route and stick with the 33-year-old all-rounder for another year or so as there won’t be too many all-rounders available at the auction.
“For me, it would have been correct because you will not have an all-rounder like Chris Morris available in the market. How many like him do you have – Ben Stokes, Hardik Pandya and the franchises will never release these players. So, they could have stayed with Chris Morris for one more year and worked on his fitness,” observed Gambhir.
The left-hander even cited the example of the injury-prone Andre Russell, whom the Kolkata Knight Riders had backed when he was the franchise’s skipper.
“I remember when I was in KKR, we used to play extra attention to the fitness of players like Andre Russell because many times his body was also very fragile.
“So, they could have spoken to Chris Morris that he needs to keep himself fit and could have given him one more year. Now if you have let him go and think that you will get a replacement for him, I doubt it,” added Gambhir.
Gautam Gambhir agreed with RCB’s decision to release Aaron Finch because of the Australian’s indifferent performances in IPL 2020 where he scored only 268 runs in 12 games averaging only 22.33.
“You can understand Aaron Finch because he was an expensive buy and you had given him a long run and he could not do much as well,” said Gambhir.
Gambhir signed off by stating that Australians and Mitchell Starc could be the players RCB might be targeting at the IPL 2021 Auction.
“According to me, RCB will go for Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc because of the form Glenn Maxwell has had at the Chinnaswamy stadium, he can hurt the opposition. They might see towards Mitchell Starc as he has played for them previously. This could be the reason but an all-rounder like Chris Morris is not available in the market,” concluded Gautam Gambhir.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore might have taken a prudent hasty decision to release all-rounder Chris Morris, considering his huge price tag and injury concerns. They have the option of buying him back though, probably at a cheaper price, if they desire to do so with Right To Match card.