Ahead of the 2019 IPL Auction, Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has assured the franchise’s fanbase that the management is focussed towards building a strong team in order to put behind the disappointment of the previous seasons and embark on a new journey ahead.
Kohli, who has been part of the franchise from the very beginning in 2008, conveyed the message through a video posted by RCB on their Twitter, saying the management will have all the bases covered when it heads into the auction on Thursday in Kolkata.
“We’ve had a few discussions to build a team around, strong core that we already have and we assure you that we going to cover all the bases that are required and build a very strong team to have a really good season in 2020,” Kohli said.
“So, as I said, get behind the team and your support has always been priceless for us and will be crucial for ever and ever till we play the sport. So, thank you very much, and looking forward to the auction. Find out what’s going to happen on December 19.”
RCB have always boasted of a star-studded line-up but are yet to win an IPL trophy. Thrice have they made it to the final (2009, 2011 and 2016) but a title win has eluded them. Batting has been their biggest strength but it’s the bowling department that has been found wanting time and again. Last season, RCB took the wooden spoon finishing eighth after managing five wins from 14 matches with one producing no result.
Ahead of the auction, RCB released 12 players that included the likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Dale Steyn, Tim Southee, Marcus Stoinis, Colin de Grandhomme, Akshdeep Nath, Heinrich Klassen, Himmat Singh, Kulwant Khejroliya, Milind Kumar, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Prayas Ray Barman.
Their current squad includes captain Kohli, AB de Villiers, Moeen Ali, Navdeep Saini, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Gurkeerat Singh, Mohammed Siraj. With INR 27.90 crore, they have the fourth biggest purse remaining among the eight teams and have 12 slots to fill including six domestic and six overseas stars.
“As you all know for the upcoming season the auctions coming up as well and I want all of you to rally behind the team, the management group, Mike (Hesson) and Simon (Katich) are doing a tremendous job,” Kohli added.