Coach Ray Jennings
Coach Ray Jennings

Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Disappointing week for the Challengers
After a promising opening round of the IPL, RCB have not had the best of weeks with 2 defeats out of 3 back to back away games. In any tournament, particularly in twenty 20, momentum holds the key, and it’s extremely difficult to get out of a losing run, as Punjab have realized this season.

With 4 wins in our first 6 games, we had a great deal of winning momentum, and are all thoroughly disappointed with 2 defeats this week. Any team can win or lose a game in twenty20, but our efforts against Chennai and Delhi were just not good enough to compete on level terms, let alone win.

Murali Vijay played an absolute gem against us down in Chennai, but the RCB bowling unit kept missing their line and played into his hands. Vijay is a technically correct batsman, and we bowled a majority of deliveries on his pads, which he kept accepting gleefully by depositing them into the stands over deep mid wicket and deep-square.

Things took a turn for the better in Mohali, and Kevin Pietersen finally showed everyone what a genuine match winner he is, with his flawless knock. Chasing a target of 180 plus on a big outfield like Mohali is not easy, and Kevin played every delivery on merit, and only went for the high risk shots towards the end of the run chase. People may repeatedly go on about Kevin’s price tag, but if he can put in a few more performances like Mohali, it will be well worth the investment.

Our third game on this away leg against Delhi did not go to plan, and it’s fair to say that we were never in the game at all. Warner, Sehwag and Collingwood sent all the bowlers on a leather hunt, and our run chase gathered no impetus. The RCB batsmen never looked like threatening the Delhi target at any stage of the game, as we didn’t execute our plans effectively.

The criticism on our team selection against Delhi is justified, as only the most passionate supporters react to defeats, and I completely take that in my stride. Dropping Manish was a tough decision, but one must remember that we had enough power hitters in the eleven, and having a stable batsman like Dravid is crucial, particularly if we had lost 2 early wickets, and needed a calming influence like Dravid out in the middle.

The task to reach the semi finals is now clear and simple, and the players are aware that we cannot afford any more slip ups. With 5 wins and 4 defeats, things are getting pretty tight, but we have the personnel to deliver the goods, particularly when pushed into a corner.

Ray Jennings is the former coach of the South African national team and current head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore. He was talking to Dhruv Mullick.
Latest Comments:

Meanwhile a rider, Appaanna is a left arm bowler who is equivalent to a right arm leg spinner. Both will take the bowl away from right handers. Hence an off spinner is preferred becuase the combination of the off spinner and Kumble (leg spinner) would be gr8. Pls remember every team(apart from ours ) in this competition has a minimum of two to three left handers in the top 6. Also can we try rangaraj suteesh, a tall left arm pacer. I feel our bowling is becoming too predictable. We have a gr8 batting line up (forget the delhi game, the pitch was bad .RCB was chasing too many runs and Delhi had a bowling lineup that suited that pitch)so batting should not be the concern.

Posted by RCFANATIC on 04/08  at  09:02 PM

Sir, I think the problem mainly lies in our inability to correctly select a match winning combination of 4 overseas players utilising our local talent well.

I agree with the others that putting Dravid at 7 is just outrageous. He is not a slogger but an innings pacer. In terms of statistics, he is as good or even better than Kallis, but at 7 down, he is not given the opportunity at all. Someone as hardhitting as Mark Boucher or White can be justified at 7, but definitely not Rahul Dravid. Pairing Kallis and Dravid as openers is certainly worth a try, where any one of the two can play the anchor and the others go after the bowling.

Our bowling at the end overs has been horrific. Kallis right now has the dubious honour of conceding the most boundries. Please avoid giving Kallis the ball in the Powerplay and the Slog overs. Also, as someone has said here - “Wickets will get slower in India”, we should have a spin combo in our attacks, which apparently every team has. With Anil Kumble, we should have Appanna who proved himself as an economical bowler last time round. In this way, we can restrict the flow of runs in the middle overs. Dale Stey nand Vinay Kumar as pace spearheads have been absolutely fine.

Posted by Aarsh-Saxena1 on 04/08  at  08:51 PM

Dean Jones on NDTV has asked what are we doing with Dravid at the bottom.I really want to know the role of Dravid in this line up….What is he doing at 7.We should ask Dravid to open the innings with Dravid and Pandey(If they chose to retain Dravid), drop Kallis(which most of the RCB fans have been suggesting), pick another Indian bowler(I was just checking the team and I did not find a good enough bowler, not even 50% as good as Kallis). Go with KP/Morgan, white and Ross and Steyn. I feel White, Ross and Utappa will play the role of finishers.My team for today would be
Morgan (If Kp is playing he should come ahead of ross)
White(he has been the best finisher for Australia)
But my worry with this team if some bowler has an offday , who is going to be the alternative. White is not good with the bowl and KP is just part timer.This is the reason why Kallis is so important to us.Its difficult to see Kohli not in the line up , but appanna has to be there because the wickets are taking turn, hence Kohli misses out.That is the reason I keep saying if Dravid is out and Kohli comes in , he will be your 7th bowling option and he is a better fielder then Dravid. I feel Dravid is eating the chances of one talented Indian player be it Kohli/Appanna or as in the last match it was Manish Pandey. In any form of cricket roles are important and unfortunately I dont see any role for Dravid in this game
Will the management take this tough decision? Will emotions ride over practicality ? Will the roles become important then individuals is the Million dollar question…...........

Posted by RCFANATIC on 04/08  at  08:51 PM

Hello Mr. Ray Jennings Sir,

We have a great batting line-up - it is formidable from any angle. So, by using all our 4 overseas players solely for batting does not help the cause. In fact, we have such a good batting line-up that 9 matches into the IPL and Dravid has only faced about 40-50 deliveries.

I think our bowling lacks confidence and control, especially in the slog overs. Dale Steyn will bolster the bowling with his pace and bounce, but I would also bring to your notice the statistics of this year’s IPL - 3 of the Top Wicket Takers are quality spinners. In fact, the most economical bowler is a spinner (Kumble). Therefore, I suggest you give Appanna a start in the XI. He proved himself in the last match.

Instead of Cameron White, we can have Dale Steyn, and playe Ross Taylor and Kevin Pietersen in the middle order.

I think in this way, Bangalore will win this time round!!

Posted by Aarsh-Saxena1 on 04/08  at  11:32 AM

you say you were never in hunt against dd,how can you be when ur batsmen score56 in starting 10ovrs.anchoring the innings doesnt mean
just taking the singles and not attacking and waiting for the other guy to be aggressive.couldnt they see the score board.dravid is a much better choice as he doesnt wait for things to happen.u have to attack the bowlers even if they are bowling well.if they dont send up the order they will lose are just wasting a class player and waiting for disaster to happen.wake up fast there is till time.

Posted by lambs on 04/08  at  11:20 AM

Mr.Ray has been candid about the reasons he thinks was responsible for the defeat . I feel the delhi defeat has been much more horrible then the one at Chennai.
I think our batting is really good, had the score been restricted to 160 on the Delhi wicket we would have really won the match. I believe we lost the match primarily because of our bowling. It was a pathetic wicket especially when somebody is batting second.
I think Delhi will not do well especially on tracks which does not aid spinners. But fortunately for them most of the wickets across the country are slowing down which will suit their type of bowling.
I think we need to have Dravid to open the innings atleast for the next two matches and see how it goes. He is a gr8 batsmen who has scored more then 10000 in both one day and Tests.But he is yet to play a big inning in this format. His strike is around 120 + and has an average of 25+ whereas Kallis has a strike rate of 115 + but has an average of 36(from cricinfo). So they have similar strike rate but Kallis has better average. Kallis can also bowl which is an added advantage.Now the only question is whether can RCB afford to have two similar batsmen at the top. I also feel both batsmen are unsuitable for a number 6 or 7. I am really curious to see how the team management is going to handle these two batsmen.
Coming to the bowling attack, I would like to see an offspinner in the ranks .Every team has atleast three left handers in their top 6. So either Vinay or Praveen play along with Kumble and Steyn.I HOPE THE TEAM MANAGEMENT KNOWS THAT THE WICKETS IN INDIA WILL GET SLOWER AND SLOWER BY THE DAY.
the batting looks OK, believe you me we lost the match against Delhi not because of our batting but because of our bowling and the wicket. Both KP and Kallis were trying to hit the ball but the ball was hardly coming on to the day. Even the worlds best hitters would have failed on that wicket.

Posted by RCFANATIC on 04/08  at  05:36 AM

Sir, biggest mistake made during DD match was to send KP in after White out. Should have come Uttappa or Ross to reduce the run rate.

Posted by Filipe on 04/08  at  04:24 AM

The team is doing a great job there is no doubt about it.But what about dravid,He was very good in the last two ipl and now he is batting at no.7.Dravid is a kind of batsmen who takes 5-10 balls to adjust and he can go for his shots just as tendulkar is doing.He can’t hit 6 of the very first ball he faces.But other players like robbie,ross,kp,white are big sloggers and therefore they should bat only next to dravid.So please make this change in the batting order

Posted by Wall007 on 04/08  at  03:49 AM

I guess RCB is suffering due to a lack of sting in the fast bowling dept in the absence of Steyn. We need to take a leaf out of Mumbai’s book. They have excellent batsmen who are Indians - Sachin, Tiwari, Rayudu etc. They have excellent allrounders - Bravo, Pollard. Their bowling is mind blowing - Malinga, McLaren, Bhaji, Zak!

So, we need not go with four overseas batsmen. I’m not sure why Kallis has become slower - it probably is due to the pitches slowing down. Let’s not forget that he started the tournament at S/R of I guess 140+ (pardon me if that’s not accurate) in the first 3-4 matches. And he’s quality, trust me. I just hope that he clicks, and brings his S/R back up.

Appanna proved to be really economical. As the pitches become slower, he should be given more chances. If we have a quicker pitch (like Mohali used to be; not sure if that is the case anymore) and of course our very own Bangalore pitch, we can give Vinay Kumar or Mithun a chance. However, I believe we should have Steyn and Praveen Kumar at all times.

Van Der Merwe can be played as an allrounder for the 4th overseas player position occasionally. He and Boucher can be played alternately. We could also bring in White. Similarly, we can have KP and Morgan played alternately. Kallis could probably be given a break (2-3 matches), so that he can be fresh for the later stages. That will also probably give us the leeway to give an extended run to some one else. I’m sure we will be able to accomodate Ross Taylor.

So, I guess its just a matter of hitting the right combination for the upcoming games and RCB will be back to winning ways.

Posted by Krishna-K on 04/08  at  01:15 AM

All the best sir! RCB will bounce back and win all the matches from here on. Its wonderful team, no doubt and they have proved. Just increase the scoring rate, else everything fine with RCB. Great going…

Posted by prathap-simha on 04/08  at  01:11 AM

Sir, please select the batting order such that at majority of time one batsman should be a good hitter and another one as an anchor. If both are playing like anchor they will ruin the match….

Posted by Pradeep-Ks on 04/08  at  01:07 AM

Mr.Ray, in just a 20 over game, u dont need to people who are specialist at anchoring! Y use Dravid like plan B. the strategy seems ‘if kallis goes early or quick wickets fall, get dravid in’ y not change the strategy to ’ let dravid hold the other end n the others attack’. Kallis need not play a long knock till the end. let him attack fearlessly in the powerplays n dravid will control the batting. a 20 ball 35 from kallis may prove more helpful than a 40+ ball 50 from him. isnt 180/7 a better score than 160/4?? so let the batsmen keep attacking while dravid plays the support insted of kallis! N please have specially intense ‘yorker n slower ball session’ with our pacers!! Let the pacers bowl atleast 2 yorkers in an over n 1 good bouncer!

Posted by HOLMES on 04/07  at  11:13 PM

There is a line between disagreement and abuse and some commenters need to know how not to cross that line when commenting. As for the game itself, their bowling let them down in the last few games. The drop in bowling and fielding standards started since first game against DD at Bangalore and continued. We have seen quite a few mis-fields and bad bowling streches since. Bad bowling even is streches or bad fielding usually demoralizes the team and in a shorter form of the game it is contageous and spills over into batting as well. If you watched all IPL games, it is usually the better fielding and bowling unit (fewer wides, no balls, full tosses, leg-side balls etc) that wins 90% of the games. The team also needs to rethink its opening strategy when chasing huge totals. Sending Kallis as an opener will back fire most of those games. In Mohali it was a blessing that Kallis got out early. Imagine him playing 50 balls and scoring 60. That means rest of the teams needs to score 122 in 70 balls which means 170+ strike rate. May be sending Pandey with Uthappa in those games might not be a bad idea. The goal should be to first get the asking rate down and then go with your other players like KP, Kohli, Kallis. Taylor can be kept down for a final push if needed.

Posted by RCBTornado on 04/07  at  10:33 PM

Hey Guys,
Apprericiate the comments from each one. Some Pointers: Please refrain from using abusive words when making comments. It’s not only disgusting to use these words against anybody, it’s also disgraceful on your part as a RCB fan.
Number 2, It’s a team’s decision that the coach is talking about, He’s come out in open (as a blog) and given us the exact reasons for the team selection! Now, which coach does that? He’s just like our parents, everything he does is thinking of ‘good’ for the team. And I’m sure this has been discussed over and over in the team meetings. Some of the chiefs should be able to explain it better!

Keep the spirits high! Support the team during it’s down moments, and see it do well in the tournament. “It’s not the fall that kills you! It’s the sudden stop at the end!” It’s not the end of the road guys, do not give up. I’m sure the team will pull out of this bad situation and raise themselves as champions at the IPL 2010 smile

Posted by KunJan on 04/07  at  08:44 PM

i suggest to give one more chance to eoin morgan in place of kp….
he is an excellent talent and just needs one good innings to prove his metal!!!

Posted by desperados on 04/07  at  11:21 AM

Coach Please read wat you say in this paragraph “The criticism on our team selection against Delhi is justified,....... influence like Dravid out in the middle.”
No one is talking about droping Dravid and I guess every understand what he stands for…But coach with all due respect wats kallis doing…we’d rather loose matches fighting than sit back in the game and say “it went wrong or it didnt go according to plan” ...At this level i guess there is not just one plan and also at this level one would expect players to know what they need to be doing.. Some one on this blog put it in a very nice way…if one batsmen is going to score a 50 or a 55 for 40+ balls and expects the rest to get the team up to a 180 or 180 in the remaining, for that you dont need a expensive player from abroad….....

Posted by madhooj on 04/07  at  10:28 AM



Posted by ymahesh on 04/07  at  08:34 AM

KP played ok in the first match then against DD he showed that he is not consistent and quite frankly I don’t think he should be in the next match. We won nearly all our games and then KP is in and we lose both matches. Will Dale Steyn and Mark Boucher be in the next match?
I want the RCB to win!! Wishing RCB all the best for Thursday’s match.

Posted by Ollie on 04/07  at  06:59 AM

Sir plz take my suggestion seriously pick steven smith in as a spinner and also a handy batsman and also one of the best fielders in the world…. my frg players are White, Ross tylor, styen and Steven smith and plz send Drivid as a opener he can contribute well as kallis… plz think of it

Posted by anup-allwin1 on 04/07  at  05:57 AM

I have no complaints about our batsmen at all. Please avoid Kallis bowling 4 overs. we cant afford Kallis being uneconomical. He should continue bowling only if his previous over is economical. A good example was Ravi Bopara in his last match. He was not given another chance to bowl after he was found too expensive in one of his overs.

We need Uthappa to open with KP. As we will have Dravid, Pandey, Kohli and Merwe to back them up.

Four foreign players will be KP, Kallis, Steyn and Merwe.

We need to really improvise on our fielding. compared to DC, RR we are much weaker than what they are.

for my view on our opening batsmen as mentioned above. Why Robin as an opener ? here is an answer. In most matches we have seen robin losing his wicket either by getting bowled or catch out. whereas if he plays during power play chances of him getting catch out are quite less. let him hit the way he wants so that he can ease pressure on rest of our batsmen. Someone should keep reminding Kallis that he is playing T20 format not one day or test cricket.

We are good in chasing than defending !! Jumbo should bowl at least 2 overs during the power play that will build pressure on opponent batsmen and chances of them getting out are more.

Looking forward for an easy Victory tomorrow. RCB rocks !!!

Posted by Girish4RCB on 04/07  at  05:53 AM

Why can’t Uthappa open?

Posted by vicksnara on 04/07  at  03:44 AM

Ray, Delightful to hear your thoughts on the matches so far! I was asking radio to do an interview with you so that we can listen in on what is going around with the team selection. Very thoughtful of you in dropping Manish.

There really isn’t a problem with our batting order, we look settled and the team is doing well in chasing the score down & batting first. I feel we had a right combination in Manish & Jaques opening the innings. Was Sad to see Dravid bat so lower down the order, but understandably so we don’t want two anchors playing the inning at the same time. Rosco comes in at 3, Kohli at 4, Robin at 5. KP or Cameron can be sat out for Steyn!

I’m not the man to recommend you strategy but like I said, our bowling is our biggest concern. We have to give people priority here, Choose the best 4 we have before the match. if they are doing well in practice they go into the game! Take this decision with inputs from the batsmen who faced them in the nets! It’s form that matters more than the name, which I assume is what you are trying to do!

Fielding needs to notch up a little too.. A lot of them look lazy on the field, Merwe is a real live wire, use him as a substitute for an over or two, his responsibility, to get some aggression going!

The team is doing really well, all cricket experts are for a RCB vs MI final. I have booked my train tickets to Mumbai to watch my team play in the final, keep the momentum going and make us proud!

I have always used this one liner for you: “You cant kill yourself by holding your breath, Try playing against MY TEAM!” Prove me right sir! prove me right!

Always for RCB!

Posted by KunJan on 04/07  at  03:20 AM

Jennings Dravid is better hitter of a Ball than Kallis…... Let Dravid Open the ings with Manish…. And Please Dont Drop White Drop KP and get Steyn In….. Drop Mithun and Get Praveen In and Drop Vinay and get Manish In.
From Now onwards please Dont drop Appanna….... as the wickets all around India will start assisting Spin…

Posted by AkkitheHardCoreRCBfan on 04/07  at  02:36 AM

Coach Jennings: Strategies went haywire at the Semis
- nidhi@RCB, Saturday, September 25, 2010
Update from the Coach
- natasha@RCB, Thursday, September 23, 2010
Post the Mumbai Indians v/s Royal Challengers Bangalore match
- natasha@RCB, Tuesday, September 21, 2010
After Friday’s loss
- natasha@RCB, Sunday, September 19, 2010
Disappointed to miss out on Winner’s title, but happy to retain Champions League qualification
- RCB, Monday, June 14, 2010
Precarious situation for 6 teams
- RCB, Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Everything to play for tonight
- RCB, Thursday, April 08, 2010
Disappointing week for the Challengers
- RCB, Tuesday, April 06, 2010
4 wins out of 6 is a tremendous start
- RCB, Monday, March 29, 2010
Challengers too good on the night
- RCB, Friday, March 19, 2010
The Challengers are ready for action
- RCB, Sunday, March 14, 2010
Great to be back home
- RCB, Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Convincing win over Delhi cannot hide disappointment
- Coach, Thursday, October 22, 2009
Victoria too good on the night
- Coach, Friday, October 16, 2009
Flawless effort from the Challengers
- Coach, Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Duminy the real show stopper
- Coach, Saturday, October 10, 2009
Cobras are a powerful batting unit
- Coach, Thursday, October 08, 2009
Champions League will be a test of character for our improving squad
- Coach, Tuesday, September 08, 2009