‘Expect a bidding war for me in IPL auction’: South Africa star eyes big bucks | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Expect a bidding war for me in IPL auction: Rilee Rossouw eyes big bucks and South Africa comeback through Abu Dhabi T10

Dec 08, 2023 08:40 AM IST

South Africa's Rilee Rossouw, who is representing the Delhi Bulls in Abu Dhabi T10, is hoping for a bidding war in IPL auction on December 19.

There was a two-way battle between the Delhi Capitals and the Rajasthan Royals for Rilee Rossouw in last year's IPL auction. It was the Capitals who prevailed. They managed to rope in the attacking South African batter for 4.60 crore, more than double his base price of 2 crore. Rossouw's return to IPL after eight years, however, was not as impactful as he or even DC would have imagined. 209 runs in 9 outings at a strike rate of 148 was not bad but it wasn't enough to make DC win regularly. A ninth-placed finish in IPL 2023 after ending up at No.5 in the year before meant DC had to do something to bring the house back in order. And they did. The Delhi-based franchise let go of 11 players and Rossouw was one of them. So were Rovman Powell and Chetan Sakariya.

Rilee Rossouw during the Abu Dhabi T10 League(Abu Dhabi T10)
Rilee Rossouw during the Abu Dhabi T10 League(Abu Dhabi T10)

Rossouw has not had a great 2023 by his standards. Apart from the PSL, where he was in his elementary, the hard-hitting left-hander has struggled in most leagues. But despite that, it takes no prize to guess that he would be one of the sought-after ones in the IPL auctions set to take place on December 19. Rossouw too is confident. In fact, he hopes to see another bidding war for him but this time maybe between DC and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

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"Don't have a particular thing in mind. I think Delhi Capitals was really good to me last year. We had a solid camaraderie around the team. But in saying that, I did well with the Knights team in the American League. So it would be nice if it would be a little bit of a bidding war. I mean, that would be ideal for myself," Rossouw told Hindustan Times on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi T10.

Rossouw represented the Los Angeles Knight Riders in the inaugural edition of the Major League Cricket. And although the Knights finished last with just 2 points in five matches, their only win came to due a blistering unbeaten 78 off 38 by Rossouw. "Like at the end of the day, doesn't matter who I play for. I want to do well for whichever franchise I'm picked," he said.

When asked to differentiate IPL from the other leagues of the world, Rossouw said that everything in the league happens at a large scale.

"I think IPL does everything on a bigger canvas. Everything's bigger and better there as they say. It's just glamorous from the outside. They spend so much money on marketing, in getting the fans in which is fantastic to see as a player. The fans love their cricket. So it's fantastic to see that and how it's been consistent over what's it been like 20 years (16) of it. So it is probably one of the best leagues," he added.

A Different challenge in Abu Dhabi T10 2023

In the ongoing Abu Dhabi T10, Rossouw is representing the Delhi Bulls. Apart from the third match against the Bangladesh Tigers where the left-hander hammered an unbeaten 20 off 11 balls, Rossouw hasn't been at his best. While he was not concerned about the low scores, he did mention that the pitches offering just that little bit extra to the bowlers has played a part.

"It has been doing a lot more than what it has in the previous seven seasons. I was actually making a joke with the boys about the same. I mean, after seven years, I'm sure the bowlers can have one season where the ball does a bit. This was something that we weren't expecting, to be honest. When you talk about T10, you just think you're gonna slam every ball, the wickets are going to be nice and flat, and you're gonna have a good time but it's not been the case this year," he added.

So what does a batter do when the ball does a bit in a format like T10? Rossouw said the idea is to play more orthodox shots and score. "You need to adjust your game a bit. Try and play more conventional shots, get behind the line a bit more but you've got to stay positive. You can't just let the an over go by because it's moving a bit off the surface."

Rossouw eyes comeback in T20 World Cup

Rossouw's last match for South Africa was against the West Indies in March this year. He hasn't been picked for the home series against India but the left-hander remains confident of playing the T20 World Cup in June next year.

"I've been in touch with the coach and I'm still in his ideas, whether I play in the leagues or not. So without thinking much I just want to perform and do well wherever and whatever the changes I might get. At the end of the day, if I score and they don't select me, it is out of my control. The selectors do their job. They want to always keep getting the best South African team out in the park," Rossouw said.

Advantage South Africa in series against India: Rossouw

Aiden Markram will lead South Africa in the three T20Is and as many ODIs against India as the selectors decided to give a break to Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada. "He's (Markram) a great man on and off the field. With regards to the youngsters coming through, there's some really good talent in South Africa, I'm glad they're getting the opportunity to play because that opportunity doesn't come around often. And I hope they do well. So it does put a little bit of a headache in the selector's mind for the upcoming World Cups, especially with our old guys that are now looking at the other side of the hills," he added.

Rossouw said it will be advantage South Africa in the multi-format series but he expects a tight contest against a talented Indian side. "I got to believe in South Africa. they will have an advantage. But I'm pretty sure there's going to be a couple of Indian fans rocking up to the grounds and not wearing green which I think is things gonna be crazy. It's going to be evenly matched."

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Aritra Mukherjee, who happens to be a journalist, is in an eternal relationship with food and sleep. He can, however, sacrifice both or at least the latter for his love-affair with cricket. 'He said,' 'he added,' 'he signed off' are some of his favourite phrases. When not juggling between food, sleep and cricket, he wastes time by surfing OTT platforms.

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