Intensity is key in RCB training

However, following their thumping win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday evening in Kolkata, the spring is back in their steps.

Having arrived here on Saturday, the Challengers hit the Feroze Shah Kotla for a practice session on a muggy Sunday evening. Barring pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, the rest of the squad went through three-hour rigour with great enthusiasm that involved speed and agility tests followed by regular ‘nets’.

Strength and conditioning trainer Vasu, who has been with the Bangalore side for a while now, put the players through team-building exercises by dividing them into two groups and pitting one against the other. Shuttle-run relays and relay-catching were the tasks and both combinations seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the ‘challenge.’

“I have basically devised methods that involve speed and agility tests and ones that help in enhancing power and strength,” noted Vasu. “That’s the nature of the T20 game and each of our methods is aimed at improving these qualities that are vital to succeed in this format.”

Vasu admitted that it demanded a lot of patience from his side to extract the best results. “Each individual is different,” he pointed out, elaborating the challenges in executing his job. “All these players come from different cultural backgrounds and their mindsets vary from each other.

“It’s not like training a national side or a state side in which players more or less are from similar backgrounds. Understanding those players and communicating with them becomes a lot easier. But it’s not the same in an IPL team. It’s tough but with experience, you learn how to manage them. It’s like an HR job for me,” he explained.  
The Chennai-based trainer agreed that his task became easier if the players were in good a mood. “It (winning) does matter to an extent,” he said when asked if he found it tough to motivate the players when the team was not doing well. “I must say this RCB team is extremely professional. Win or lose, they give their 100 percent in training. There is no let-up in intensity. Of course, you find them a bit sullen and downcast after defeats but professionals that they are, they move on very quickly.” 

While the entire squad participated in team-building exercises, skipper Daniel Vattori chose to have a bowl with bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad keeping a close vigil. “I didn’t want him (to train) because he had just done a rehab at the hotel and I just asked him to take it easy,” remarked Vasu.

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