Honing the honed skills
RCB will do a post portem and treat the next match as an 'everything to play for'
Well, RCB has truly had a chance to assess
the not-so-strong points within it and may well use the analysis of the match
against KKR on Thursday night to get their best ‘pack’ together. Fans should
not despair. Look at KKR who also lost two matches on the trot but yet in a
must-win situation came firing at the IPL 2011 runners-up. Further, they even
stepped up their scoring rate to give themselves a realistic chance if it comes
to battling it out with the Net Run Rates. Why, even RCB may do that starting with
their next match.
So, what causes sides to do complete
turnarounds like KKR did? It may well be
a sense of ‘play with nothing to lose,’ which is the exact situation RCB are
now encountering. Their team management will now be tinkering with these certain
thoughts – Arun Karthik being likely to keep wickets, Rajoo Bhatkal putting on
a decent show as an all-rounder and to use Dirk Nannes as a wicket-taker by
bowling at least three of his four overs in the beginning. Well, the
complications increase but then, that’s cricket.
No doubt the RCB boys are putting in their
all into practice fielding sessions but a few slips have got the tempers up.
Yesterday was the second successive match which witnessed four overthrows,
well, to compound it, five runs resulted because the batsman ran one. One
wonders if the fate of the game hangs in balance because of these incidents.
How vulnerable does a side show itself to be, leave alone the actual registry
of runs incrementing itself? Will RCB issue new directives to its players in a
sort of back to the basics method?
Sure, it’s a faster paced game and every
run-out opportunity weighs like gold, again not for the fact that ‘one wicket
was claimed’ but from a perspective of how much unexpected pressure one puts on
the opposition. A stealth strike if you will! Then again, the fielding drills
must emphasize ‘backing up.’ Surely, if the existing drills test one’s
stopping, anticipating and diving ability in balls hit by a batsmen, they
should now incorporate training of backing up, not matter how trivial it seems.
After all, it’s not the sheer runs you lose but the momentum. RCB has a capable
team management which will address these issues.
Another fielding aspect that will be
considered is to judge the distance a boundary-line fielder stands inside it.
Tied to that is his scope for adjusting his position of being either straighter
or squarer depending on the batsman facing and how much autonomy he has or the
captain directs. Well, there’s no doubt that standing a few yards inside is a
correct tactic because one can ‘gain’ yards for hits (catches too) in front of
the fielder as well as for balls passing overhead for which the fielder can
retreat. It also depends on the individual fielder’s speed of ground coverage.
Saurabh Tiwary had a tough opportunity on the boundary-line, a scene famously
witnessed yesterday as he crashed past the boundary and into his own camp,
namely Evans Speechley the physio, whom most mistook to be Coach Ray!
Then again, it’s difficult to pin point
faults . These measures are necessary to prevent extra fast-run runs which
result from fielder being too far back and one just has to hope the long hits
to the boundary-line are higher and slower so the fielder can get a fair chance.
TV pictures can be cruel to a fielder who has done exactly as instructed by a
captain and that too the latter employing all his instincts and experience.
Another spillage that will be addressed is
the ball going down leg, which must be firmly curtailed with a definite plan
and margin for error for the bowler but outside off-stump. Once determined and
expressed by the captain and coach, the bowler must utilize its advantages and
the scope for error. Well, mostly, bowlers don’t like to give the batsmen room
to free their arms, as a result of which the former get very narrow channels to
bowl to on the offside.
Again, most wicket-keepers will be standing
up even to the fast bowlers because otherwise, batsmen step out of their
creases willy-nilly. So the wide down leg-side is not merely 1-wide but
4-wides. Anyway, RCB like a determined unit, will figure out these aspects. Let’s
look forward to some smart strategies.