If I wasn't living an ordinary life among ordinary people I would be an International sports star who would have worn his heart on his sleeve and been extremely popular amongst sports lovers across the world. What a pity, I did not make it. Also the game would have been cricket and I would have been a very tough proposition to break down. That said, I did play the sport till my graduation days and believed all the while that it was meant to be. That is how I live my life as well; once I put my mind to something I give it my best shot. It would therefore not be a surprising revelation that amongst all cricketers, I have idolised Rahul Dravid. Apart from my love for the sport, I am a Management Student. Even though I am working now I would still describe myself as a student because that is what the game of cricket has taught me. One learns all the time, as a person as an enterprise and as a team, the biggest winner is the biggest learner. I have utilized my education in sport to take decisions in life and at work. I would like to utilize this platform to bring all that learning and respect for the game and opinionate strongly, to challenge limits of what can and should be done to win a game of Twenty20 cricket for my favorite IPL franchisee. I describe my own style of writing as that of a “Constructive Cynic”, this primarily involves not being satisfied easily, instead being “positively dissatisfied”. As a management person this process keeps me ahead of the game. In an argument I love playing the devil’s advocate. If I am a spectator watching a neutral game I cheer for the underdog. I deem it only fair, and I am ecstatic when underdogs win.
I am the most fanatic RCB fan because...
I have not missed a single game that the Royal Challengers Bangalore have played. And its not because I want to make my record a statistical marvel, its simply because of the quality of the team. Its a very solid team with some absolutely fantastic players like Kallis, Dravid and Kumble who inspire awe both on and off the field. It is one of the sides which is continuously looking to decipher the Twenty20 game with its feet firmly grounded to simple Cricket concepts. Its refreshing to see a team defying the populist belief that simply because the format is shorter no thought needs to go into playing it. A healthy balance of machismo and restraint is what makes the team my favourite,
Strategy Map for RCB - Airtel Champions League
My preferred line up :
Manish Pandey, Jacques Kallis, Virat Kohli, Rahul Dravid , Ross Taylor, Mark Boucher Roelof van der Merwe, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Anil Kumble (Captain), B. Akhil, J.Ryder
why do I prefer this line up :
This is very close to the line up that beat the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL semi final. In my opinion, the only weak link in the semifinal winning team was Robin Uthappa. Not only because of his lack of form, but also because it reduced Kumble’s bowling options. It would be very helpful if another batting all-rounder can plug that slot. From the options available, I would give B Akhil a run and see how he goes. Also, considering Indian conditions an extra bowling option will be more than handy. Robin Uthappa only comes into the equation if he keeps and Ryder plays which are options if this 12 does not do the job. This however is not as long a tournament as the IPL, therefore, teams who get it right in the first go are expected to do well.
My opening match strategy:
The first game against Cape Cobras is a crucial game. The opposition would be highly dependent on their batting line up. To me the danger man would be Gibbs. If Royal Challengers can get him early which i believe can be done, we will be in the drivers seat. He has a tendency to go hard and away from his body early on. If P Kumar can use a slower ball, an off cutter preferably he stands a chance. Greame Smith will look to hold up an end and I believe if spinners, especially Kumble can bowl to him early in the innings he can be tied down. The Royal Challengers are a better all round team. If we win the toss we should bat first without hesitation and try and put up a big total. If this happens I will also consider sending Ross Taylor at no. 3. It is important to have a positive approach, if Ross does not fire the target can be revised by a negative 15 runs till the 17th over and then if wickets are preserved an onslaught can help achieve a big total. However, the Royal challengers have enough experience in their batting line up to post a challenging total either ways. The key would be to not depend on a single player and put up consistent team performances.
My best T20 match:
This was the game of seniors, Dravid scoring the important half century and Kumble picking up 5 wickets not only must have brought immense belief in these great cricketers but also a strong sense of security within the team. It was also a stark contrast to previous year's IPL where the Royal Challengers did not know what hit them first up. They never really recovered from McCullum's blitzkrieg. Though not as overtly hyped as individual performances solid team performances hurt the opposition more than anything else. Its on this premise that I favor the Royal Challengers as much as i do. That first game of the second edition of IPL for the Royal Challengers prepared the team for bigger possibilities. When one looks at the scorecard, it is clear that 2 individuals stood out, but what it did to the team morale is intangible but palpable to a Royal Challengers fan.