Vettori confident of fruitful outing
RCB skipper hopes Gayle will put on a repeat show
After Anil Kumble moved behind the scene to don the role of Chief Mentor in 2011, Daniel Vettori has filled the role of Royal Challengers Bangalore captain to perfection.
The New Zealander led the team with maturity last season on and off the field, and he was excited to lead RCB in the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League.
Harry Potter, as Australians named Vettori, knew that it would take more than just magic to survive the highly competitive world of the IPL, and indicated his and the team’s readiness for the fortcoming challenge in an interaction with the media. Excerpts:
On the hopes and challenges for IPL season five: Any new IPL season is challenging and obviously we will try to win the competition. We have a strong team and some good new additions this season. We have a few new Indian boys I have never seen before. The side is pretty confident and we are hopeful of a good outing this year.
On the importance of Chris Gayle at the top of the order: We all know how good a player Chris is. We can expect him to do it in all the matches like he did last year. There are a lot of other guys who want to step up. Virat was also amazing last year. Those two guys are incredibly important for us.
On the increasing maturity of Kohli: He was amazing. I don’t know whether mature is the right word to use, he was mature last year itself. He knows his role and is confident. He is an extremely talented player.
On the role of Muttiah Muralitharan: Murali will be vying for one of the two bowling spots along with (Charl) Langveldt and Dirk (Nannes). With his experience and skill, the team will benefit a lot from him. When we get wickets that suit our kind of attack, he will play a huge role.
On the slow-start nature of RCB: It is difficult in the early part of the tournament and these guys are coming in from different parts of the world. So, the next three-four days are the key for us to hit the right note.
On the importance of getting the right kind of pitch for home matches: I think we want a wicket that’s similar to last year. We were incredibly successful here and probably suits batsmen, there is a bit of pace in it. Our top order batsmen -- Gayle, Virat and AB really enjoyed it here. I think we have to favour that strength.
On the over reliance on top order batsmen: It is understandable because it is a matter of 120 balls. So, the top four take the majority of those and have to be careful about it. Fortunately, (Cheteswar) Pujara is back after injury. Mayank has done a good job whenever he got the chance. Guys like (Tillkaratne) Dilashan and Andrew McDonald coming in, and that makes us more confident.
On the new addition to coaching staff, Mark O’Donnell: He is the fielding coach! (Later RCB management clarified that O’Donnell is batting-cum-fielding coach). I worked with him in New Zealand and he has worked with Ray Jennings in South Africa. So, they also know each other well. He is a real asset and works pretty hard. The problem in the first few games of the IPL and Champions League was fielding. So, hopefully we can improve on that.