Boning Up: RCB does fielding drills
Ray's boys charge the outfield and display superb energy and concentration in variety fielding drills
Royal Challengers Bangalore recuperated for a day on the instructions of the team management and coaches. After all, they needed to get negative thoughts out of their mind, none of which they really deserved because they played a hard fought match on Friday against the Warriors but luck just ran out. Skipper Dan Vettori, ever the humble statesman, had granted that a few errors had occurred but that really was the stature of a great man and a wonderful ambassador. His side had done their all, never mind that some balls were ‘lost’ in the sky to the RCB fielders, being unsighted because of the lights.
Playing under lights is one reality that only top notch players at this level know. It’s easy for spectators to say that a thousand fielders have taken a thousand catches so there’s no excuse for dropping any, however, the reality is different. There are several X factors which crop up, the lights and their angle being one among them. Anyway, the players could hardly wait to get going at practice. Sunday brought with it a purely fielding session inside the Chinnaswamy stadium. Ray himself gave plenty of the catches and fielding drills. He wanted to ‘feel sure’ that everything was going like clockwork and intensive.
It was amazing to see the stamina the RCB coach and former South African wicket-keeper displayed; hitting the ball high for two hours is a feat by itself however, he also varied the drill by suddenly hitting it hard along the ground and then also trying to ‘outthink’ the fielder. Well, that is more a figure of speech but then what he wanted to do was to let the fielder practice sudden unexpected movements.
Then again, he simulated a continuous set of catches to fielders running back (sentimental Indians always remember the Kapil Dev catch to dismiss Vivian Richards in the 1983 World Cup final which exactly resembled these). Of course nobody had coined famous quotes back in those days or else someone would have said something to the effect “You’ve just caught the World Cup son.” Well, due credit for the quote goes to Steve Waugh who in the 1999 edition immortalized the words but referring to Herschelle Gibbs having “just dropped the World Cup son” but of course that wasn’t a backwards running catch. Well, back in those relatively naïve days of Kapil’s 1983 catch, most spectators thought these catches to be simple and mere lobs, until experts pointed out that these are the amongst the most difficult ones.
Anyway, our RCB lads looked in fine catching fettle. There was a raw energy around especially since the mental focus was on fielding alone. At first, the session started with a game of football, typically to warm up the players. Then followed some stretching and a relay race, seemingly to pit the Indian players against the overseas players, just for the fun of it. Maybe some mild challenges had been posed between the players, all in good humour and for some fine variety of course. Venkatesh Prasad joined in the race also and showed how his long strides could carry him across even if there were other fast athletes around.
Tomorrow’s, Monday, 26th September, is an early start to the practice session, probably with one batch at 8:30 am and the other to follow an hour and a half later. The early start is also necessary because later on during the day, is the scheduled match between two other teams.
Fans, watch this space and keep cheering.