Ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 auction, Rajasthan Royals (RR) made a bold move by not only removing Steve Smith as the captain of the team, but by also releasing him into the auction pool. Given his prolific run-scoring record across formats, Smith entered the auction as one of the batsmen to watch out for. His name was called out early in the auction. Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) came up with the first bid for the former Australian captain at his base price of Rs 2 crore but immediately got a counter bid from Delhi Capitals (DC). RCB then took everybody by surprise by pulling out of the bid as Smith eventually went to DC for Rs 2.2 crore.
RCB pulling out after making just one bid for Smith became one of the biggest talking points of the auction. While the move left the fans and experts befuddled, the franchise has now shared a video as a part of its mock auctions where RCB Director of Cricket Operations, Mike Hesson made a strategy to make the first bid for Smith.
Mike Hesson’s mock auction strategy
In the mock auction, Hesson came up with the strategy to start the bidding process for Smith and then pull out as he said no franchise would let RCB have Smith at his base price of Rs 2 crore. “I am not sure if anybody is going to bid for him in the first round. The best thing we can do is make a bid for Smith early, and then move out. So if CSK buy him, they cannot buy Maxwell. They are the only ones at the moment who can outclass us for Maxwell. We need to confirm that we are comfortable making that first bid for Steve Smith. I think if we bid for him straightaway, no team is going to let us get him for 2 crore,” he said.
On a lighter note, Hesson told the RCB management that he would buy dinner and drinks for them if Smith was bought for more than Rs 4 crore at IPL auction. “So post auction, if Steve Smith goes for more than 4 crore, I am going to have a nice meal with a couple of drinks. If he goes for less than 4, I will pay. If he goes for more than 4 crore, you pay,” Hesson added. Hesson was spot on with his prediction as Smith was bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 2.2 crore as none of the other franchises made a bid for him
Chris Morris, the South African pacer who was released by RCB ahead of auction, emerged as the costliest player in the IPL auction history as he was bought by Rajasthan Royals for a record sum of Rs 16.25 crore. RCB went deep into their pockets to buy Glenn Maxwell (14.25 crore) and Kyle Jamieson (15 crore) at the auction.