I CAN BE RC'S CHIEF BlOGGER BECAUSE..
As a child, one of my finest moments on a cricket field came when Rahul Dravid generously allowed a bunch of us kids to field while he practised for a Ranji Trophy semifinal in Hyderabad. As I watched the match from the sidelines, observing the action unfold, and second guessing what the fielding captain would do next, I knew I wanted to write on sport when I grew up. I took a year off after high school to become a sports journalist with Deccan Chronicle, dabbled in commentary briefly, being a city winner in the first edition of 'Harsha ki khoj', and I've been hooked to analysing the game ever since. I love RCB for the fact that it is a team that exudes class, led as it has been by Rahul and Anil. Not to forget that Virat Kohli, Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey are my favourite trio of young Indian cricketers. At this point in time, I can envisage myself as the Chief Blogger of RCB. Over the next week, I'll be donning the role on my blog (listed in the blogroll below) to relive RCB's finest moments from the season gone by (IPL 2009). Ideas for content are more than welcome, so feel free to demand for anything that you'd like to read about. I can think of no greater pleasure than writing about cricket. Not to mention that you'll know well in advance exactly how interactive and exciting your Chief Blogger's page is going to be come IPL-3. So, if you ever crack a smile while poring through the blog, you know what you have to do on the Fanatic Fans Challenge page here.
MY STRATEGY FOR ROYAL CHALLENGERS IN IPL 2010
The leadership paradigm Anil Kumble’s ability to command respect and calming influence at the top puts RCB in a great position to launch their assault in IPL 3. At the top of his agenda should be the handling of Kevin Pietersen who will be playing his first full season in the IPL. It shouldn’t be unlike M S Dhoni’s handling of Yuvraj Singh in the 2007 T20 World Cup, boosting his star player’s confidence and stoking his ego to unleash his full potential. Kumble’s second task would be to work closely with Abhimanyu Mithun and draw the best out of him. Having had a successful domestic season, Mithun could prove to be a dangerous, unknown quantity on Indian pitches to international stars in other teams. If Kumble can succeed in the above mentioned areas, we should be in for an exciting season! Stealth fighting While Kevin Pietersen’s ability to provide impetus to the innings will be needed, I believe that controlling overs 6-14 with sharply taken ones and twos will be the batting order’s crucial task. This will play a far more significant role later in the tournament as scores tend to get lower and pressure games become close. The batting order could work to a plan with flexibility based on the match situation. Batsmen could be allotted specific sessions of play and trained accordingly with likely partners to improve understanding and speed between the wickets. The likes of Virat Kohli could be an ideal foil for the middle overs. Also, the possibility of using Praveen or Vinay Kumar as pinch hitters higher up the order can be looked at. Noose tightening The death over division should be the focus area for Kumble. While he might bowl alongside Dale Steyn and Praveen Kumar towards the latter half, there needs to be a plan with the other two bowlers continuously operating in that period to ensure that they’re set for the high-voltage encounters in April when the table gets closer. Kevin Pietersen could be a great option for keeping things quiet in the middle overs, ably assisted by Cameron White and Eoin Morgan depending on who makes it to the playing XI. The offside trap With three fabulous fielders in Virat Kohli, Kevin Pietersen and Manish Pandey, RCB can ensure that the cuts and drives are intercepted at frustratingly regular intervals for the batsmen. After the powerplay, the usage of in-and-out fields with attacking catching positions preventing singles and placing fast legs in the deep to harry the batsmen even while running twos represents to me the ideal strategy to gain the upper hand in close matches. Boucher’s current injury might mean Uthappa keeping wickets with Eoin Morgan being the third option. I’d rather go in with a stable wicketkeeper throughout the tournament to maintain consistency though.
MY REFERENCES (49)