Former IPL scout Monty Desai recounts his experience with Rajasthan Royals

Former IPL scout Monty Desai recounts his experience with Rajasthan Royals

"In these camps, we tried to match skill to skill," he said.

Indian Premier League
Rajasthan Royals (Photo by Pal Pillai-IPL 2010/IPL via Getty Images)

Monty Desai, the batting coach of Afghanistan, has explained the way they used to hunt the talent during the Indian Premier League (IPL). He worked as one of the main talent scouts for Rajasthan Royals till 2015 and was key in identifying the little-known players like Pravin Tambe, Sanju Samson among many others. However, Desai is proud to be part of the set up which had the likes of Shane Warne and then Rahul Dravid in the support staff.

Royals were one franchise who backed the younger players during the initial seasons of the T20 league in India and most importantly, won the inaugural edition of the tournament with the same set of players. Since then, they’ve always backed the raw talent during the tournament which has more often than not paid off for them. Even in the upcoming edition, they’ve invested in the players like Aryaman Vikram Birla and Midhun S who are lesser known.

Royals willing to take risk

Monty Desai, in an interview to Sportstar, stated the way they used to go about finding the domestic players around the country. “We (Royals) began with the catchment areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. After 2008, we conducted trial camps in October – December because back in the day, the domestic players weren’t part of the auction,” he said. He also explained that they used to match skill to skill and pick players for the tournament.

“In these camps, we tried to match skill to skill. So for example, if a batter was able to play big shots against one particular bowler in one particular situation, then we pit him against a different set (bowlers) to try and see if he could replicate his performance. If we found anyone interesting, he was then sent to the development camp,” Desai added also informing that the final decision to pick the players was of Warne and later Dravid.

“They had the final say on which players to pick. The fact that an unknown commodity like Kamran Khan was picked ahead of an experienced bowler goes to show that they were willing to take the risk in terms of team composition,” he concluded.

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