RCB's head coach Mike Hesson has revealed that leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga was on the team's radar for a long time and his recent success against India wasn't surprising for them. He also added that the team likes Hasaranga's skillset, and besides bowling, he will also add depth to RCB's batting.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, on Saturday, had a field day as they signed three top-quality players - Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera and Tim David - for the UAE leg of IPL 2021. The signing of the trio was lauded by experts and fans alike, but it was Hasaranga's inclusion that stood out. Hasaranga had emerged as the star for Sri Lanka against India last month, with his bowling efforts as the all-rounder scalped seven wickets in three T20Is at 9.57 with an ER of 5.58.
He has been in red-hot form in 2021 in T20 internationals and has taken 17 wickets in nine games while maintaining an ER of 5.23. He's also pretty handy with the bat, which multiplies his value. Mike Hesson, who took over the role of head coach from Simon Katich, owing to his unavailability for the UAE leg of IPL 2021, revealed that Hasaranga was on the team's radar for a long time and his selection wasn't influenced by his recent exploits as such.
"We have a scouting program that has been in place for the last two years where we know almost every player that is playing cricket around the world at a decent level. Wanindu had been on our radar for a long time. In fact, we needed a replacement in the last IPL, he was certainly the person we called upon. It's not a recency factor," stated Hesson, reported Hindustan Times.
He added that Hasaranga's recent success didn't come as a surprise as he has been impressive for a while and also adds a lot of value with the willow in hand.
"We are not surprised by his success in recent times, but he has been doing it for a while. We like his skillset, and we like the fact that he is a multi-skilled cricketer. So, he offers us the ability to bat a little bit deeper as well if we choose to play the overseas spinner along with Chahal. And that gives us a lot of exciting options so the fact that he performed well against India in recent times is great, but certainly not surprising."
After the unavailability of Finn Allen, Scott Kuggeleijn, Adam Zampa, Daniel Sams, and Kane Richardson for the remainder of IPL 2021, RCB were forced to make additions to the side, ahead of the tournament, that kick-starts from September 19.