'Basics and Strengths'
The bowling coach and talent scout are going 'hell for leather' in their quest of the holy grail, the Champions League 2011. The former advocates playing to strengths, the latter to gobble up chances.
Venky Prasad, bowling coach, and talent scout cum Coach Vijay Bharadwaj would have liked to see a full practice match yesterday when unfortunately the rain came down and stranded Royal Challengers Bangalore on 143 for 5 off 14 overs. Well, only Bengalureans would know what kind of shower it developed into late in the night therefore there was no way any of the ground staff would have sopped up the ground.
The fury of the rain at night tempted one to make a Noah’s ark. Fortunately, calm was restored by morning. Venky Prasad attributed the team’s success to the ability to work towards pre-determined goals. “The bowlers need to play to their basic strengths,” stressed the former Indian international. Surely everybody would wish for Zak (Zaheer Khan) to have been fit but it’s been the way of teams all over the world to miss their best men.
So much cricket is played that injuries crop up and must to tended to with adequate rest so that the larger objective is met. Venky does not believe any particular bowling plan or combination is being stuck to at the moment. He’s aware that this tournament has many foreign teams, something that might make it different from IPL which comprises Indian domestic teams but with four foreign players. On the day, they may well ‘take the call’ to target particular weaknesses in other teams. He’s all praise for left arm fast Arvind who’s made good progress after some niggles that kept him out of a BCCI tournament in Australia and also singles out Mithun, Syed Mohammad and the other Indians as aces in the pack. No doubt Dirk Nannes adds more punch where he missed out the tourney in IPL last time due to injury and Dan Vettori is more than a handful. Asad Pathan’s leg spin is valuable while he fulfills the role of the hard hitting all-rounder.
Vijay Bharadwaj, an ex international lends a valuable hand in this 20-day tournament. “We are sparing nothing in this edition as there are barely four matches, which decide our status for the next round. IPL had more opportunities to make comebacks, but here you’re got to be on target. Sure, we want a different result from the IPL final of May and God willing will achieve it,” said the eloquent Bengalurean.
Vijay was to be seen in the middle of a unique fielding drill when players rushed in as a pair, held onto a lobbed catch, returned the ball to the catcher and sprinted back to this positions. The coaches definitely recognize how much the fans expect from the team and are putting in their all.
The players on their part are putting in all the effort and as one astounded spectator remarked “probably losing 5 kilos with every training session!” Of course, that may not be the exact case but the steely determination of the men in red is coming forth.