How RCB’s Auction Strategy For Steve Smith Worked Just As They Planned

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Steve Smith being bought for just Rs 2.2 crore was one of the shocks of the recently concluded player auction ahead of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. The Australia star was picked up by Delhi Capitals (DC) after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) made an initial bid and pulled out as soon as another bid was made for him and with no other team interested, he was sold for just a fraction above his base price. RCB on Tuesday released a video from their mock auctions before the main event, where their think-tank – including their Director of Cricket Operations, Mike Hesson – are seen discussing in detail the strategy to bid for Smith and then pull out.

At the start, Hesson is seen exclaiming that they should not go for Smith as he does not provide them with a bowling option. “Whoever bats there has to be able to bowl,” Hesson says.

He later clarifies that they are primarily looking for a batsman, but he should be able to provide a bowling option – something that their eventual buy Glenn Maxwell does provide.

RCB bought Maxwell – who also bowls off-spin – for a whopping Rs 14.25 crore after a bidding war with Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

“I’m not even sure anyone is going to bid for him in the first round,” Hesson later says.

Then in another snippet from a different meeting, Hesson is seen explaining their bidding strategy for the former Australia captain.

“Best thing we can do, is bid for him early and then get out,” he says.

“So, if CSK buy him, for example, they can’t go for Maxwell,” Hesson says. “They’re the only ones at the moment who can outbid us.”

“And if we’re left with Steve Smith for Rs 2 crore, it’s not the end of the world,” he adds.


Hesson is also seen wagering that Smith would not go for more than Rs 4 crore in the auction.

RCB ended up spending big in the auction for both Maxwell and New Zealand all-rounder Kyle Jamieson (Rs 15 crore).

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