RCB Head coach Simon Katich, in a video released by the club, expressed his delight over the application shown in training by Gurkeerat Mann, who the franchise retained ahead of the 2020 season. Katich revealed that he was impressed by Gurkeerat incorporating in-match situations into net sessions.
Ahead of the auction for the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), wooden-spoon-holders Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were ruthless with their decisions and thus released a platoon of players, including big names such as Shimron Hetmyer and Tim Southee. Expected to be a casualty was Punjab all-rounder Gurkeerat Singh Mann, who played just three games in 2019, but the franchise sprung a surprise by deciding to retain the versatile 30-year-old, who has three international caps to his name.
While it may be too early to call, there are, however, already signs that the Reds might have got their judgement on the hard-hitting batsman right, as was evident from Gurkeerat’s net-session on Thursday. In fact, so impressive was Gurkeerat’s display in the nets on Friday that newly-appointed head coach Simon Katich reserved special words for the 30-year-old who, according to the Aussie, was ‘magnificent’.
"The batters utilised the first training session and now in the second, they built on that and the second session was really good for a number of batsmen. And Gurkeerat Singh was magnificent tonight. What was really impressive was that he applied himself in the batting session like he would in a match," Katich said in a video posted by RCB’s Twitter handle.
According to the Australian, it was Gurkeerat’s mindset - to simulate real-match situations in training - which was mighty impressive.
"It's not easy to do because a lot of guys just try to hit the balls for boundaries during the training session, but sometimes you need to get in there and construct your innings like you would in a game to prepare for what's coming up.”
Other snippets in multiple videos posted by the franchise’s Twitter handle also featured both AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli having a good hit out in the middle. Earlier, skipper Kohli had claimed that the first day of training went much better than he expected and admitted that he was scared that he would not fare well with the bat.
It remains to be seen, however, whether Gurkeerat will play an integral part in RCB’s campaign in the forthcoming edition. The addition of opener Aaron Finch - who is expected to take Parthiv Patel's place up top - might open the door for Gurkeerat, who can also keep wickets.