Daniel Vettori believes the presence of allrounders Shane Watson and Stuart Binny will give the Royal Challengers Bangalore team balance it has previously lacked in the IPL. Watson was acquired for Rs. 9.5 crore and Binny for Rs. 2 crore at this year’s auction.
“Last year, we did lots of things well but the likes of Watson and Binny give us a really balanced squad,” said Vettori, the RCB head coach, here on Tuesday.
“To have those guys that have the ability to bat in the top order and bowl four overs is a real luxury. You look at the teams that have been successful in the IPL — CSK with the likes of (Ravindra) Jadeja, (Suresh) Raina and (Dwayne) Bravo and KKR too with Shakib (Al Hasan). So we’re banking on the fact that we have six or seven bowling options. The Chinnaswamy Stadium is a tough place to bowl at so to give ourselves those options is very important.”
Starc absence a big blow
Vettori admitted that the absence of Mitchell Starc, who’s recovering from a foot injury and will likely miss the IPL, was a big blow. “Everyone’s seen how Mitch has bowled in the last couple of years, particularly T20s and his death bowling. That’s something we’re going to miss. It’s difficult bowling here and with Starc we knew we had those four overs up our sleeve. That’s a loss but it’s an opportunity for the likes of Adam Milne and Kane Richardson to step up,” the Kiwi said.
RCB will also be concerned over the fitness of Samuel Badree, who has flown back home after the World T20 with a shoulder injury. The legspinner played a key role in West Indies’ triumph, taking nine wickets during the tournament, and is now the ICC’s top-ranked T20I bowler.
“He’ll see a specialist there (in Trinidad) and we’ll get some feedback soon,” Vettori said. “That was always the plan. We’re just hoping he recovers from his shoulder injury and gets back to the team as soon as possible.”
Vettori felt pitches in India, largely spin-friendly during the World T20, would be full of runs during the IPL. “The wickets were really conducive to spin (during the WT20) and it was great to see from a personal perspective,” he said. “But I think we’ll see a lot of the wickets that we’re used to in the IPL and a lot of high-scoring games. It’s going to be a challenge for the bowlers.”
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