Hesson himself took over from Simon Katich as head coach, who stepped down due to personal reasons and as part of the team's business continuity plan. Hesson will discharge dual responsibilities as head coach and Director of Cricket Operations for the rest of the season.
At a virtual press conference, Hesson said, "As a team RCB started the first half of the season well. We gained plenty of momentum and will certainly continue that progress in the season and a half. We are in a decent position but we also know that we have plenty of work to do.”
Hasaranga impressed in the T20I series against India, claiming 7 wickets in 3 matches at an economy rate of 5.58. He also chipped in with key contributions with the bat. Explaining the decision to bring in Hasaranga, the RCB coach said,
Talking about Hasaranga, Hesson said, "We have an extensive scouting program, Wanindu has been on our radar for a long time. We aren't surprised by his success in recent times, he has been doing it for a while. We like his skill set. We like the fact that he is a multi-skill cricketer, so he offers us the ability to bat a little bit deeper as well. That gives us a lot of exciting options."
On IPL heading back to the UAE, Hesson asserted that they have fond memories of the venue as they made the playoffs in IPL 2020. He added, "There are players on both sides who have played in that condition a year ago. We have got some good memories of the last time we were there. We made the playoffs, we played nicely."
Apart from Hasaranga, RCB chose another Sri Lankan Dushmantha Chameera as a replacement for Daniel Sams while Tim David comes in for Finn Allen.
Meanwhile, after assembling in Bengaluru on Saturday, the Indian players, support staff and the team management will begin their 7-day quarantine and also undergo Covid tests for 3 days. RCB members will then take a chartered flight from Bangalore to the UAE on August 29. The other international players and staff will start assembling in the UAE starting August 29. There will be another 6-day quarantine for RCB in the UAE.
RCB will get into action when they face Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on September 20.
--By A Cricket Correspondent