Mike Hesson, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Director of cricket operations, has said that he and skipper Faf du Plessis have “set things in place for the next three years and hopefully beyond” after the franchise qualified for the playoffs for the third consecutive year.
The Bangalore-based franchise’s fate was, however, not in their hands this season. They swam into the knockout stage following the victory of the five-time champions Mumbai Indians over Delhi Capitals in their final league game. Had the result been the other way around, Delhi would have qualified and Bangalore would have crashed out of the tournament.
Du Plessis was named as the captain of RCB ahead of the 2022 season, taking the mantle from Virat Kohli. Interestingly, the South African is 37 years old while Kohli, who stepped down from the role last year, is just 33.
“Faf has been great. Once we decided and made him aware of that (captaincy), it was all about him actually coming in and contributing to the culture. For me, culture happens first. It is something quite hard to define. It is more about how you react under pressure, towards your teammates and Faf is big on that. He is big on creating a legacy as well. We actually have got set things in place for the next three years and hopefully beyond. He also has the capability of bringing people along for a ride, which I think is really important,” said Hesson in a video posted by RCB on Twitter.
Mike Hesson talks about making it to the playoffs for three years in a row, the top performers for #RCB this season, and Faf’s leadership skills, while Shahbaz Ahmed recounts his memorable moments of #IPL2022 so far, on @kreditbee presents Bold Diaries.#PlayBold #RCB pic.twitter.com/bdIqY631kq
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) May 24, 2022
Royal Challengers Bangalore will play Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator on May 25 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Hesson also spoke highly of bowlers Wanindu Hasaranga, Josh Hazlewood and Harshal Patel. The Sri Lankan leg-spinner is just two wickets behind top wicket-taker Yuzvendra Chahal (26 wickets) in the 2022 season.
“Wanindu is exceptional in terms of those middle over wickets for us. You can only control the back end of the innings if you can take wickets in the middle. The wickets he has got are critical,” said Hesson.
Talking about Hazlewood, Hesson said, “He shows experience and he is a banker. He has got big wickets for us. He has shown his skills in the death (overs) as well, which is critical.”
Harshal (18 wickets in 13 innings) is RCB’s second most successful bowler after Hasaranga.
“He (Harshal) has done what we know he can do, creates pressure and takes wickets. (He) loves the death overs which not many people put hands up for and say they wanna do that job,” added Hesson.