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Sport

IPL underachiever Bangalore have found balance, says Hesson

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Royal Challengers Bangalore have addressed what ailed their previous Indian Premier League (IPL) campaigns and will be a significantly more balanced side at this year’s tournament, team director Mike Hesson said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Britain Cricket - New Zealand Nets - Sophia Gardens - June 8, 2017 New Zealand coach Mike Hesson during nets Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge/File Photo

Captained by India skipper Virat Kohli, RCB remain one of the three existing franchises of the eight-team tournament never to have won the world’s richest Twenty20 tournament.

They finished runners-up on three occasions, their title drought often blamed on their penchant to collect top-order power-hitters, while remaining thin on bowling resources.

“We’re all well aware of history,” former New Zealand head coach Hesson told a virtual media conference from Dubai.

“It’s more about making sure we’ve got a squad that’s balanced, that can be strong in all conditions and they can deal with phases of the game where the game is on the line.”

Hesson said he, head coach Simon Katich and Kohli had several discussions before the players’ auction in December when RCB added Australian Kane Richardson, Sri Lanka’s Isuru Udana and the South African duo of Chris Morris and Dale Steyn to their attack.

“I think it’s very clear that death bowling and bowling under pressure have been something we wanted to make sure we’ve got covered.

“When we went into the auction, we spent a lot of time making sure we had some experienced finishers there... So we’ve got many options from a symbolic point of view.”

RCB also have a decent spin attack which includes India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and off-spinner Washington Sundar.

“We’ve got a really nice mix of spin bowlers. So depending on the conditions, we’ve got the flexibility to be able to modify our game accordingly,” Hesson said.

“We’ve identified areas leading up to the auction that we needed to fill in, I think we’ve filled those holes nicely.”

This year’s IPL will be played in the United Arab Emirates from Sept. 19.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Pritha Sarkar

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