RCB: Banking on Tymal Mills

One of RCB’s main priorities was to find a replacement for Mitchell Starc, and it did so in Tymal Mills.

Royal Challengers Bangalore is hopeful that Tymal Mills will be an adequate replacement for the injured Mitchell Starc.   -  Getty Images

Royal Challengers Bangalore spent big at the auction, buying Tymal Mills for Rs. 12 crore, Aniket Choudhary for Rs. 2 crore and Pawan Negi for Rs. 1 crore. Apart from the three, the franchise also acquired Australian fast bowler Billy Stanlake (Rs. 30 lakh) and Praveen Dubey (Rs. 10 lakh).

One of RCB’s main priorities was to find a replacement for Mitchell Starc, and it did so in Mills. The left-arm fast bowler impressed with his pace and variety during England’s three-match T20 series against India earlier this year. A couple of weeks later, he hit the jackpot.

“Bangalore (the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium) is a small ground. It favours the batsmen. The average first innings score is 199 and the average second innings score is 190. We really needed bowlers, with Starc not available. Tymal Mills was a great buy. We would have done whatever was required (to get him),” said the RCB Chairman, Amrit Thomas, later.

England’s scheduled ODI series against Ireland and South Africa will in all likelihood not affect Mills, for he plays only T20 cricket.

“He’s a T20 specialist in our estimate; our view is that he will be available,” said Thomas.

The RCB Chairman was also pleased with the acquisition of Negi, who in 2015 had become the most expensive Indian player at the auction. “We’re looking at bowling options,” Thomas said. “We are looking at people who perform as all-rounders and that’s why we went for Negi. The Bengaluru conditions will also suit him well.”

Last season’s RCB squad was perhaps the most balanced outfit the franchise has ever assembled. The arrival of Mills and left-arm seamer Choudhary should strengthen the bowling. It will be interesting to see how leg-spin-bowling all-rounder Praveen Dubey, who has impressed in the Karnataka Premier League, will fare.

RCB does not have a replacement for Shane Watson but Travis Head’s development and Samuel Badree’s return will be welcomed.