RCB's setback against the Warriors in the first match of the Champions League T20, 2011 should not hurt them badly
The pall of gloom descended upon Royal Challengers and their fans at the Chinnaswamy Stadium yesterday but only after the last ball had been bowled? So for 39.5 out of 40 overs the match was pulsating, therefore how could one say unenjoyable? Sure, it would have been good to ‘cross the line’ by restricting the Warriors to less than 172 but in the end it was the South African domestic side which did it.
Optimists of RCB will say that these close encounters and unsuccessful ones at that are good, especially at the start of the tournament. The advantages to RCB in this tournament are many, not least of which is that they play all their matches at their home ground, therefore it is easy for complacency to kick it early if they start winning straightaway.
Not truly beaten
Let’s hark back to when in the last IPL, in the last league match on our home ground, we beat the eventual winners Chennai Super Kings comprehensively but lost to them at Mumbai and finally in the final at Chennai. So, it probably portends for the better that while we didn’t have a successful encounter against the Warriors yesterday, we didn’t ‘truly’ get beaten. A run here and a run there would have seen us home.
Plenty recuperation and not travel stress
Buckle up fans. There’s lots of action to come. And don’t forget RCB have plenty of time to recuperate (their next match is six days later on 29th September against the Kolkata Knight Riders) and they are also minus the travel of the IPL itinerary. Travel literally takes a whole day if you take into account the re-adjustments and acclimatization. Remember again, at the IPL final we had to play back to back matches - after meeting the Mumbai Indians first in the semi-final and upon winning that, Chennai Super Kings the very next day in the final.
During the pre semi-final qualifier against CSK in the IPL, Coach Ray Jennings had said they’d like to win if only to avoid a back-to-back ‘date’ of matches in Chennai later on which unfortunately was not to be. Anyway, fans, at least this time this fatigue factor is not there. The team has enough time to physically and mentally recuperate. And not least of all, work on their drills.
The team management keeps a somewhat regular schedule in tuning their players towards the match on the day it is to be played. Typically, a selection meeting is held at 10:00 am usually attended by Ray Jennings, Anil Kumble (chief mentor), Dan Vettori and Siddhartha Mallya. After about half an hour the attendees break off because a bowlers’ meet is planned at about 11:30 am which involves all the bowlers ‘likely’ to play and even those on the benches so that they get a feel of the strategy. Dan attends this meeting too.
The art of focusing
After about half an hour of the bowlers’ meet, the players retire to their rooms to mentally focus and importantly to relax. The more you tense yourself up, the less likely your muscles are to respond to what you want them to do, at least not at a fast enough pace.
Yesterday the original time for the evening team meeting was 5:30 pm but was advanced to 5:00 pm much earlier in the day. Note that the players are informed a day in advance what their schedules are going to be. Anyway, this extra half hour was to be able to get some more practice, just prior to the match.
All meetings are usually restricted to half an hour as longer is considered a drain on the energy and brain of young energetic athletic cricketers, thinking sportsmen though they may be. Well, all in all, a meticulous method is adopted by the team management to get the team to function as one unit and with enough respect being given to a player’s opinions. The players will now rest for a day and rejuvenate before hard practice starts again. Fans, keep cheering!