I am of the strong view that more than the players and their performance this year, the coaching and captaincy have been rather mediocre. Other than shuffling the players, nothing new was actually done.
1. Predictable: RCB are such a predictable side and all opponents have a game plan against the RCB.
2. Rigid Batting Line Up: The batting line up has been very predictable and the opposition knew when to bowl their best bowlers. For the formidable batting line up that we have and the consistency with which they performed the need for change did not seem necessary. But yet there were instances when a small change could have yielded 20 additional runs which could be so critical when you are not able to defend power scores. Statistics shows that in high voltage games Chris Gayle has failed to deliver. The pressure gets to him and he tends to get out rather meekly. Not to take the credit away from him, the opposition builds up enough pressure on him just as the fans do with their expectations. Why has he never been safeguarded to play in the middle order in such games? When the ball is swinging and you know he might get out for a low score why not save him for later. The last few games he has wasted so many deliveries just to ensure he plays till the very end. Yes, Gayle may make up for his strike rate later, but without rotating the strike he is a bane on the other batsmen. Also, there have been instances when AB De Villiers should have been preferred to Kohli as he has a better strike rate and plays innovative shots. Why is it a rule that Kohli has to bat at No. 3. Did not Dravid bat at No. 8 for his team?
Why was not a pinch hitter sent when the run rate was very low in the game against KKR at Ranchi. We could not afford to ask AB De Villiers to strike from the very first delivery? Theere is so much pressure on Gayle, Kohli and AB to deliver time and again. Are we not asking for too much? Is the coach using any intuitive thinking to ease the pressure off their shoulders? Not that I have seen any. I have not seen one new talent which was cultivated and nurtured in RCB. All the performers were stars of their own might.
3. Pathetic, Indisciplined Bowling(What is Venkatesh teaching these kids?): The bowling line up was so predictable. The line and length they bowled was way too predictable and the opposition, after the first few games, knew how to negotiate the bowling. They knew which bowler to target on which pitch. The bowling coach and the captain are to blame here. A good captain like Dhoni has made a star out of all the youngsters he has had at his disposal. The reason is he nurtures every talent and brings the best out of them. By providing the bowlers with the best field placements to dictating them to bowl to a set field, to make changes at the right time and to a set game plan brewing in his mind and he just seems to make a hero out of every raw talent. On the contrary RCB this year had some of the best talent (bowlers) and the bowling coach and the captain did not encash on their talent nor did they nurture them like Dravid or Dhoni. If you were to analyse with a lens, the field placements were terrible, the length was almost always failing, and the tension got to the bowlers too soon and an animated captain did not help the cause.
4. Captaincy: With regards to the captaincy, If you closely look at Dhoni, he is calm and composed while the players are animated running up and down the pitch putting pressure on the batsmen. I sometimes get the feeling there are more than 11 players on the field when CSK are bowling. On the contrary Kohli is so animated while all the other players seem like they have been brought back from the cleaners, “dry” and “washed out”.
5. Team Selection: The coach and the captain are equally to blame here. Why were so many fast bowlers played even after they were belted round the field. It is ironical to see that we did not have one slow medium pace bowler. The only successful fast bowler this season has been Dale Steyn cause he is too fast and too accurate. All the other fast bowlers including the likes of Ishant Sharma bowled slow deliveries 70% of the time. Did RCB bowlers probably want to show they are Malcom Marshals and Patrick Pattersons? And when they bowled slow they bowled too short. It was like some college kids bowling to the Tendulkars and Richards. Look at Parvinder Awana, Sidharth Trivedi, Rajat Bhatia who were extremely economical. They might not have taken wickets but have helped other bowlers take wickets by restricting the scoring rate and thus putting pressure on the batsmen. RCB had none or we just did not pick one.
Anyways Ray Jennings and his South African coterie have enjoyed repeating their mistakes time and again and we loyal RCB fans have been disappointed time and again. I hope light dawns on the thinking minds of the Team Management to make the necessary changes, lest be depleted of their loyal fans as we may change loyalties due to frustration.