It took Dale Steyn a third round to be picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore during the IPL 2020 auction but franchise coach Mike Hesson said the South Africa fast bowler was always part of RCB’s plans. After going unsold in the first two rounds, Steyn was acquired by the same franchise that released him in November for a base price of Rs 2 crore. He played two games for RCB last year before being sidelined due to a shoulder injury.

“We knew we wanted Steyn but we knew if we put a bid on him early, it might have gone up to three or four crore, which would have had flow-on effects,” Hesson said in a video posted by RCB.

Hesson further stated that RCB followed the same policy with Sri Lanka’s Isuru Udana since he expected the fast bowler to be in demand to push a bidding war.

“It was the same with Isuru Udana as well. We thought Udana was going to be well sought after, so we had to slow-play that one a little bit. In the end, it worked out the way we wanted but it did require a sense of patience, which is not one of my main attributes.

“I probably exchanged a couple of hundred messages with Virat [Kohli, the RCB captain] for a couple of hours. I think he thought we went to sleep in the middle for a couple of hours as well, but he was well aware of what our planning was. He was keen at the end, as we were, to get Udana and Steyn.”

Besides Steyn and Udana, another big signing secured by RCB was that of Aaron Finch. The opener was one of the top-selling Australia cricketers, going for Rs 4.2 crore and Hesson believes that Australia’s limited-overs captain, the No.2 T20I batsman in the world, could help take the pressure off AB de Villiers in the middle order.

“We want someone who takes the pressure off AB [de Villiers] and Virat, so we’ve got a world class player,” Hesson said of Finch. “Looking at the rankings, we’ve got three of the top five players in the world in terms of the last few years of T20 cricket so that is exciting.

“Chris Morris is a really good addition, in terms of being a three-in-one cricketer; he can bowl upfront, can bowl at the death, he’s got some power with the bat as well. Udana is exciting, in terms of especially on slower surfaces, we felt we wanted that. Kane Richardson is one of the best bowlers in international T20s for a while, so we’ve got a really good mix of players.”