Royal Challengers rope in Gautam
In-form wicketkeeper-batsman CM Gautam has become the latest non-capped Karnataka player to sign up for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The right-hander is the fourth State cricketer to be roped in by the Bangalore side after left-arm paceman S Arvind, all-rounder Raju Bhatkal and batsman Mayank Agarwal. “I am very happy to have been picked by my home team again,” said Gautam, who was part of the RCB squad but didn’t get to play any match last year.
“It feels good that my performances in domestic cricket have been recognised. Last year, I didn’t get a chance to play, but this time around, I am very optimistic (of being included in the XI),” noted Gautam, who is part of the South Zone squad that will take on North Zone in the five-day Duleep Trophy final from Wednesday at Visakhapatnam.
Apart from South African buy AB de Villiers, the 24-year-old Bangalorean is the only other specialist wicket-keeper in the RCB side as of now. “Not only am I the only other wicket-keeper, there aren’t many Indian players in the side, at least as of now. So I am very hopeful that I would get an opportunity this time. Plus, the RCB team management too has assured me that I stand a good chance to be in the 11,” he added.
Overall, Gautam is the eighth uncapped player from Karnataka to have signed up with various IPL teams. Stuart Binny was snapped up by Rajasthan Royals while middle-order batsman Deepak Chougule and all-rounder B Akhil joined their State-mate R Vinay Kumar (bought in the auction) in Team Kochi. Hard-hitting right-hander Bharath Chipli has been grabbed by Deccan Chargers.