Coach Ray Jennings
Coach Ray Jennings

Thursday, October 08, 2009
Cobras are a powerful batting unit
The action finally kicks off tonight, as RCB take on a well balanced Cape Cobras unit in the opening game of the inaugural Champions League. The Cobras may be relatively unknown to a number of Indian fans, but they are undoubtedly one of the best T20 sides in the world, with a powerful batting unit of Herchelle Gibbs, JP Duminy and hard hitting lower order batsman Vernon Philander, and a potent pace attack with the likes of Monde Zondeki and Charl Langeveldt.

In addition, the Cobras will be geared up for this international challenge, as they have dominated the domestic competitions in South Africa over the past few years.

As far as RCB are concerned, our entire final unit of 15 has trained hard for this opening contest, and the final 11 picked tonight, will surely put their hand up and deliver the goods. Anil Kumble will have a huge role to play as a leader and bowler, and he has been waiting to put in a special performance for the fans in Bangalore, after his exploits in the IPL in South Africa.

Kumble’s leg breaks, backed up by Roelof Van der Merwe’s left arm orthodox, may well be the key tonight in keeping the likes of Gibbs and Duminy quiet, who are good players against spin bowling.

RCB’s batsman will also have their work cut out tonight, particularly our big hitters like Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Manish Pandey, who will relish the shorter boundaries at the KSCA. As far as the playing conditions are concerned, the slow pitch at KSCA may not be conducive for audacious stroke play early on, and it’s crucial that our batsman bide their time in the middle.

This is my first assignment with RCB in front of our home fans, and I’m geared for this contest and realize its magnitude in the growth of the franchise. I’m confident that RCB have the personnel to deliver the goods against the Cobras tonight.

Ray 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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