Gautam Gambhir takes a dig at RCB for releasing 10 players ahead of IPL 2021 auction
Gambhir opined that RCB should have retained Morris for one more year and worked on his fitness.
Updated - Jan 21, 2021 3:57 pm
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has criticized Royal Challengers Bangalore for releasing a plethora of players before the upcoming auction for this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL). After failing to win the title once again last year, the Bangalore-based team has released as many as ten players ahead of the auction.
RCB are one of the only three teams in the history of IPL who are playing right from the first season but are yet to win the trophy. In 2020, the Virat Kohli-led side did well in the first half of the season but lost its way towards the business end. They managed to make it to the playoffs before losing to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator.
And with an eye on their first IPL title, RCB have decided to revamp their squad once again. Consequently, they have retained just 12 players while releasing 10, leaving Gautam Gambhir unimpressed. Taking a dig at the RCB, Gambhir, who led KKR to two IPL titles, sarcastically said that not releasing their Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson and head coach Simon Katich was the biggest positive for RCB.
During the discussion on the Star Sports show Cricket Connected, he was asked if it was a fair call by RCB to release an injury-prone Chris Morris. The Bengaluru-based franchise could utilize the extra budget to bring in someone like Cameron Green. In his response, Gambhir made it clear that he was not impressed by RCB’s call.
“The biggest positive for RCB is that they have retained Mike Hesson and Simon Katich because I even had a doubt that they might release them as well. I don’t think Cameron Green has the experience of Chris Morris. Yes, you might have seen Cameron Green bowling at 135-140 kph but IPL is a completely different beast,” said Gautam Gambhir
You will not have an all-rounder like Chris Morris: Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir was further asked if it would have been okay for RCB to risk Rs 10 crores on Morris, considering his track record with injuries. In reply, the legendary batsman said retaining the South African would have been the right move. He pointed out that the franchises do not have too many options like Morris.
Gambhir opined that RCB should have retained Morris for one more year and worked on his fitness. He also cited the example of his former KKR teammate Andre Russell who has suffered from a spate of injuries in his career. But unlike RCB, KKR have not released Russell since signing him in 2014 and the allrounder is now one of the most important members of their team.
“For me, it would have been correct because you will not have an all-rounder like Chris Morris available in the market. How many like him do you have – Ben Stokes, Hardik Pandya and the franchises will never release these players. So, they could have stayed with Chris Morris for one more year and worked on his fitness,” said Gautam Gambhir.
“I remember when I was in KKR, we used to pay extra attention to the fitness of players like Andre Russell because many times his body was also very fragile. So, they could have spoken to Chris Morris that he needs to keep himself fit and could have given him one more year. Now if you have let him go and think that you will get a replacement for him, I doubt it,” added Gambhir.