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Coach Ray Jennings
Coach Ray Jennings
Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 08:41 PM
We were back in Durban for our semi-final match hoping to win it after losing two group games at the Kingsmead. But it was not to be. We started the match well. It was however proved that morning doesn’t always show the day.

The rains put the brakes on our progress and at one point even threatened to take the match away from us. And when the rain finally stopped and the game restarted, nothing seemed to go our way. Dale’s catch to get rid of Mike Hussey was superb but it also injured his lower back so badly that he had to be taken to the hospital. He was kept under observation by the doctors. The absence of somebody of Dale’s calibre hits any team badly. It was no different for us. All the strategies went haywire as we had to rely on part-time bowlers to finish the quota of overs.
We were back in Durban for our semi-final match hoping to win it after losing two group games at the Kingsmead. But it was not to be. We started the match well. It was however proved that morning doesn’t always show the day.

The rains put the brakes on our progress and at one point even threatened to take the match away from us. And when the rain finally stopped and the game restarted, nothing seemed to go our way. Dale’s catch to get rid of Mike Hussey was superb but it also injured his lower back so badly that he had to be taken to the hospital. He was kept under observation by the doctors. The absence of somebody of Dale’s calibre hits any team badly. It was no different for us. All the strategies went haywire as we had to rely on part-time bowlers to finish the quota of overs.

But all this doesn’t mean that Chennai and especially Raina didn’t play well. Chennai was undoubtedly the better team on the day and they thoroughly outplayed us. Raina made batting look much easier on the pitch than it actually was; full credit to him for his performance.

The target was not easy and we needed two or three big partnerships. But Rahul’s soft dismissal opened the gates and we kept losing wickets at regular intervals, something that has been a feature of our Champions League campaign.

The big-hitting troika of Robin, Ross and Whitey failed to click putting on immense pressure on the others. Unlike the last two matches, Virat failed to recreate the magic with Manish waging the lone battle at one end.

But we still have positives to take from this campaign despite the losses. Manish and Virat are maturing well as batsmen and Vinay keeps proving his effectiveness without being flashy. They have been a good bunch of boys to work with and after the auctions later this year I don’t know who will remain in the team and who wouldn’t but as fans I guess you are always going to be there. A big thank you for backing the team through everything.
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Coach Ray Jennings
Coach Ray Jennings
Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 01:03 AM
So, we are in the semi-final and we go back to Durban. But a big thanks to all of you for the constant support. It was great to know that you were behind us despite the two successive losses.

But it was a tough match against the Lions and we were on the backfoot even before the game started. We had to withdraw Jacques Kallis from the squad on the advice of the Cricket South Africa medical team. This was a huge blow ahead of such a crucial match. We had to rework our strategy and come up with a back-up plan. I’m glad that it all worked out in the end.

This win not only gave us a semi-final berth, becoming the first IPL team to reach the last-four stage of the premier tournament but also a lot of positives.

We bowled pretty well after the initial onslaught from the Lions batsmen. Vinay Kumar gave us the breakthrough with his two wickets off two consecutive balls. Anil, who had an off day against Mumbai Indians came back very strongly. He is a true fighter and proved his class again. But the surprise in the bowling department was Virat Kohli. He bowled a superb spell to pull back the Lions.

I also have to mention the other youngster in the side, Manish Pandey. It’s not easy to fill the boots of a great like Jacques Kallis. But he rose to the occasion and gave us a very good platform for the chase alongwith Rahul Dravid. Two contrasting styles of batting but they make a good pair.

Two quick wickets in the form of Ross Taylor and Robin Uthappa was a bit unfortunate but we remained in the hunt largely due to Virat. The promotion to number 3 in the batting order was a reward for his performance in the previous match. He and Cameron White changed gears when required taking the team to a well-deserved win.

I was also happy that unlike the match against Mumbai, Virat took the team to the victory against Lions, receiving the man of the match award for his effort. What change in fortunes! It just proved that life can be kind as well despite the heartbreaks that it causes.EOM
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Coach Ray Jennings
Coach Ray Jennings
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 12:26 AM
It was the marquee match of the tournament. Royal Challengers Bangalore versus the Mumbai Indians. The setting was perfect and the game lived upto the hype. A full house at Kingsmead welcomed both the teams and the players knew the importance of a win in this match.

Mumbai won the toss and elected to bat. I must mention here the effort put in by both the Kumars with the ball. Praveen and Vinay had a dream spell and kept the leash on the Mumbai batsmen. They choked the flow of runs, got wickets to give the edge to our team. Things went according to the plan as we held back Dale Steyn who won the contest handsomely against Kieron Pollard.

But Bravo, Tiwary and Bhajji plundered a few more runs than we should have let them and that proved crucial. The target though wasn't too big. Rahul and Jacques began in confident fashion and we were right on the course. However, Jacques' wicket put us back and the departures of Robin, Rosco and Whitey changed the course of the game.

It put immense pressure on Rahul who again proved his doubters wrong. He showed that age has got nothing to do with performance even in a format like T20. On the other side was the young Virat Kohli, who grabbed the opportunity with both hands. It was great to watch this partnership flourish as they changed the equation and took the team to the doors of victory.

But sadly, it was not to be. On another day, Virat may have hit that last delivery, which was the same as the previous one, for a boundary. But his was a very mature innings and it must have given him a lot of confidence. It was a heartbreak for him, taking the team so close to the victory yet losing by just 2 runs.

The result however doesn't change anything for us. Despite the win, Mumbai is out of the competition. And we are still very much in the game and a win against Lions in our next match will seal our place in the semis on the basis of a better net run rate. That's the only result that we are looking for now.
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Coach Ray Jennings
Coach Ray Jennings
Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 12:45 AM
To begin with, a big hello to all the Royal Challengers Bangalore fans. I know you must be disheartened with our loss against the South Australian Redbacks. But I must tell you that the better team won the day. It was definitely a bad day at work for the boys in red and gold.

We had to make some changes in the match against Redbacks, out of choice and due to the different conditions. Manish was back at the top due to Jacques’ absence but I would say we missed his all round experience. Jacques is a huge asset for any team.

The loss of early wickets had put us back but Ross again proved why he is so dangerous. Dillon also swung his bat to good effect but what did us in was the lack of any meaningful partnership. It was a good platform for the youngsters to take up the chance but sadly they couldn’t do justice.

We knew the total was 20-30 runs less than what we would have liked but this was good enough to put up a fight. The bowling lacked penetration and Redbacks openers punished the slightest error. We needed early breakthroughs to take the fight to the opposition camp, but sadly that didn’t happen. Praveen did bowl well though. But in all fairness, the Redbacks played better cricket.

This loss has put the pressure back on us and the boys know it. The next match against Mumbai Indians is very crucial for us and we hope to put this reverse behind and start afresh against them. A win and we are on course for a semi-final berth and that is what the boys are looking forward to.

Till then it’s good bye from me.
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It’s been a couple of months since the conclusion of IPL 2010, and the dust has finally settled on a tumultuous season, with lots happening on and off the field. As I look back on RCB’s campaign in IPL 3, the disappointment of not lifting the trophy remains, as we had the personnel to go all the way this time.

RCB have come of age as a team, and the performances of every player in season 3, was with a collective aim to achieve a common goal. Our bowlers were relentless in their line and length, constantly keeping the pressure on from both ends, and our batsmen never threw their wickets away till the job was done.

We started off well this year, with four consecutive wins early on, however, some inconsistent cricket towards the business end of the competition cost us dear, and everyone in our side knew that we should have moved into the semi finals in a far more safer manner, rather that coming in with 7 wins and 7 losses in the league matches.

Our semi final match against the dominant Mumbai Indians didn’t go to plan, and I still believe that we had the batting unit to chase down any score, and a target of 180 odd should have been well within our reach. Sadly, it just wasn’t our day and everyone at RCB had to swallow the bitter pill of defeat, and not making a second consecutive IPL final.

There were undoubtedly more positives than negatives this year, and it was heartening to see the young Indian players perform with gust and zeal in tight situations. Robin Uthappa’s scintillating knocks against Chennai at home and against Mohali away, Praveen Kumar’s 3 in 3 against Rajasthan, and Vinay Kumar getting the better of Sachin Tendulkar at the CCI, were some of my moments of the tournament.

Robin Uthappa’s return to form, after struggling for an entire year before IPL 3, was extremely pleasing for me as coach, as there is no greater feeling when a player repays the faith that you have in him, even when all and sundry are asking for the players head. Robin has buried all the ghosts of his treacherous IPL 2009 tournament, and a return to India colors will be on the cards if he continues to replicate his IPL 2010 form.

Finally, a word of praise for the skipper Anil Kumble, who seems to still have an appetite for the competition, even in the twilight of his illustrious career as a professional cricketer. His erstwhile and commanding leadership has played an integral role in RCB’s consistent run over the past two seasons, and every member in the squad will be looking forward to his inspirational captaincy in the Champions League Twenty20 later this year in South Africa.

RCB has qualified for the Champions League for the second year in a row, and this is a remarkable turnaround for a team that was no where in IPL 2008. I’m counting the days till Champions League, and looking forward to putting my red and gold tracksuit back on.

Raymond Jennings is the former coach of the South African national cricket team and current head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore. He was talking to Dhruv Mullick.
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Coach Jennings: Strategies went haywire at the Semis
- coach, Saturday, September 25, 2010
Update from the Coach
- coach, Thursday, September 23, 2010
Post the Mumbai Indians v/s Royal Challengers Bangalore match
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