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It’s a good feeling to be a favourite: Kumble

When one of the Team Royal Challengers fans handed over a specially painted frame to Anil Kumble on the eve of the Royal Send Off to South Africa, the skipper had glittery eyes in astonishment. The ‘gift’, one amongst the thousands that was showered onto the team by the fans, typified the admiration, the expectation that Team RCB carries while competing in the Airtel Champions League T20 as one of the favourites.

When one of the Team Royal Challengers fans handed over a specially painted frame to Anil Kumble on the eve of the Royal Send Off to South Africa, the skipper had glittery eyes in astonishment. The ‘gift’, one amongst the thousands that was showered onto the team by the fans, typified the admiration, the expectation that Team RCB carries while competing in the Airtel Champions League T20 as one of the favourites.

And nobody knows and feels that more than the skipper himself. “It feels good to be regarded as one of the favourites,” Kumble said. The “favourites” tag comes with added pressure, he knows. But the positives of having key players from South Africa in the side – Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn – and spearheaded by coach Ray Jennings, another South African, may just turn the expectation into reality. The disclaimer here, however, is adaptability. With Champions League becoming the season opener for most of the participating teams, “The team which acclimatise to the South African conditions sooner will be better placed in the tournament,” Kumble predicted.

With a heavily loaded bowling department which includes Praveen Kumar, Dale Steyn, Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun apart from the mercurial Kumble himself, team RCB looks certain to give the opposition batting some tough times, according to Kumble.

“In T20, teams need a good start, whether in bowling or batting. The game can change in just one over, so you really cannot plan much except sticking to the basics and play an intense game throughout,” Kumble felt. Having big ticket batsmen like Ross Taylor, Cameron White, Jacques Kallis besides the icon Rahul Dravid and domestic players like Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa, the batting looks solid as ever. “Pietersen would have definitely added flavour, but we cannot do much now as the final team was announced about a month ago,” Kumble said referring to Kevin Pietersen, who has no international commitments during the Champions League.

Talking about the team’s chances, Kumble said, “We will check the composition of the other teams and then do our homework accordingly. It’s a matter of winning four games and move to the semi-finals. After that it’s anybody’s game.”

The conviction with which Kumble answered the queries tells a lot about the gritty cricketer, who will be turning 40 soon. But there isn’t any sign of quitting cricket hovering over his mind yet. “It’s too early to talk about retiring from total cricket. Let’s win 6 games this month and come back victorious from CLT20. That will be the great motivation for next year’s IPL.”

Motivation was there aplenty, witnessed along with Kumble by Rahul Dravid, Mithun, Vinay, PK, Kohli, Balachandra Akhil, Manish Pandey today, as more than 50 fans greeted the team at the top of their voice and “gifted” them from the bottom of their hearts. Along with them, they carried the voice and the aspiration of another hundred thousand supporting the team for the dream come true – bring the cup back!

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Best of luck to all RCB playes. We want CL 20 Trophy
t20champs on 12 Sep 2010, 12:27 AM
Best of Luck Rahul Dravid and RCB
raj-kumar1 on 10 Sep 2010, 09:35 AM
Go RCB we al want you to win and all the best Rahul its your time to rock and show that you are the only Dependable and the bigest Wall that India can trust on.
Robymaya on 09 Sep 2010, 11:35 AM
wjwek
bank on 08 Sep 2010, 05:58 AM
Best of luck hopefully we can lift the crown of being CHAMPIONS OF CLT20
utsav-chirimar on 06 Sep 2010, 10:49 PM
best of luck to rcb team as they march their way to a journey of wisdom
arunrc on 06 Sep 2010, 07:34 AM
we r the best guys... give ur 100% we will surely b the champion of the world...... :) All the best RCB:)
Safy23 on 05 Sep 2010, 10:53 PM
we ll win dis time>>>
Swaraj-Singh1 on 05 Sep 2010, 10:20 PM
We sure are the favourites. It.s going to be hard for the other teams to catch up. I can't wait for the tournament to begin.
KunJan on 05 Sep 2010, 07:18 PM
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