3 reasons why Quinton de Kock's move from Bangalore to Mumbai is best for both the teams
The first trade for the season of 2019 has already has been finalised. Quinton de Kock, who was with Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2018, will now play for three-time champions Mumbai Indians. The all-money deal between the two franchises will end the South African wicket-keeper's association with the Bangalore based franchise after just one season.
Royal Challengers Bangalore bought de Kock for ₹ 2.8 crores in the 2018 auction, so to accommodate his inclusion in their side Mumbai Indians have reportedly released Bangladeshi fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman (₹ 2.2 crores) and Sri Lankan off-spinner Akila Dhananjaya (₹ 50 lakh). In addition to Quinton de Kock, Mumbai Indians have six other foreigners in their squad - Evin Lewis, Kieron Pollard, JP Duminy, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, and Adam Milne.
Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne were signed as replacements for Pat Cummins and Jason Behrendorff. So, one of the two players might be dropped off if the Australians return to the MI setup. With Fizz gone, Mumbai will hope that at least one of the Australians will return to their side for next season.
On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore now have seven foreigners in their team - AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Tim Southee, Colin de Grandhomme, and Corey Anderson. Corey Anderson, who was unsold in the 2018 IPL auction, was signed as a replacement for an injured Nathan Coulter-Nile.
With the two teams signing the first trade for the 2019 season, let us take a look at the 3 reasons why the deal will benefit both the teams involved:
#3 Mumbai Indians might have the most dangerous opening pair
With Mumbai Indians deciding that Rohit Sharma will not be the opener, Evin Lewis was the experienced opener for Mumbai Indians in the 2018 edition. He had a decent debut season playing for Mumbai as he scored 382 runs at a strike rate of 138.40. The left-handed opening batsman also hit two half-centuries in his first season in IPL.
Addition of Quinton de Kock to the team will bolster Mumbai Indians' top order. The two left-handers at the top would be a threat to any team in the tournament as these two batsmen have the ability to single-handedly knock the opposition out of the game. With many talented Indian bowlers in their ranks, Mumbai Indians have the luxury to opt for two foreigners as opening batsmen and that will make Mumbai's opening pair one of the most lethal pairings in the tournament.
#2 Mumbai will have an international wicketkeeper in their ranks
The only wicketkeeping options that Mumbai Indians had in the 2018 IPL were Ishan Kishan and Aditya Tare. While Ishan Kishan played all the matches for Mumbai last season, MI's six-hitting hero of the 2014 season - Tare - was benched the whole time.
Mumbai had no wicketkeeper with international experience in their ranks and were forced to depend only on Ishan Kishan. Even though the young lad performed decently it was not enough for the 2017 winner to make it to the playoffs.
A minor injury on the field to Kishan in the later parts of the tournament would have raised a few questions in the minds of the team management. Quinton de Kock is the perfect answer to those questions as MI can now have Ishan Kishan as a cover for the experience de Kock. The inclusion of de Kock might even help Mumbai bring back their glory next season.
#1 Banglore can give more freedom to Brendon McCullum
At the start of the tournament, Royal Challengers Bangalore opted to include both Brendon McCullum and Quinton de Kock in the starting XI but did not enjoy much success. In the middle stages of the tournament, they had to make a choice amongst the two wicket-keeper batsmen and shuffled between the two. In the later stages, they opted for Parthiv Patel and preferred including Corey Anderson and Moeen Ali in the XI.
With Quinton de Kock moving to Mumbai, RCB now have a clear-cut idea of who they should use at the top if they have to. With Baz being the only batting option other than AB de Villiers, he might get the freedom to wield his willow at the top.
In this year's Carribean Premier League, he was the fifth highest run scorer with 343 runs in his kitty that too at a strike rate in excess of 140. Just like CPL - in which he helped Trinbago Knight Riders with the tournament, Bangalore fans will hope that McCullum will repay the confidence shown by the franchise by helping his side lift the trophy for the first time.
In the days to come, the Challengers might even take a few tough decisions in the bowling department. The player is most likely to face the axe is Corey Anderson who failed to impress in the last edition. The Virat Kohli-led franchise must find the right balance before the next season if they want to lift the trophy on 19 May 2019.