Bowlers have learnt from errors: Prasad

RCB bowling coach reveals how change in bowling strategy has worked for the team

By IPL Staff
Bengaluru 13 May 2012
After faltering in the first-half of the league stage, the Royal Challengers Bangalore have got back to winning ways with three consecutive victories under their belt. They now take on the Mumbai Indians – a team that has shown similar resurgence and is currently the biggest adversary for RCB on the points table.

I their last encounter, RCB defeated MI comfortably in their own backyard. The biggest factor behind that victory was the quick wickets taken by RCB bowlers to put their team on top from the word go. It was a refreshing change from the early-innings bashing that the Royal Challengers bowlers have often taken in the season. Ahead of their home game against MI, RCB bowling coach, Venkatesh Prasad, addressed the media and revealed the work that went into improving his bowlers’ performance.

Daniel Vettori’s magnanimity

Looks like that. It’s difficult to say about the team’s composition right now, but Murali [Muttiah Muralitharan] has done really well so far, and I hope that he continues in the same way. It was really magnanimous of Dan to sit out for the team’s balance despite being the captain. It proved to be a very good move.

AB de Villiers’s brilliance

He’s extremely effective at the end of the innings with his pyrotechnics with the bat. He has an amazing hand-eye co-ordination and his feet movement is extremely quick. That not only helps him get into the position early on, but also enables him to change his position quickly to play those sweeps and reverse sweeps. It’s not possible to play such shots without extraordinary footwork.

The importance of bowlers in T20

It’s important for us to just keep winning and not look too much on what the other teams are doing. Although it is a batsman’s game, the bowlers play a very important role. Every run not conceded counts, especially in the first and the last six overs, when we generally see the runs leaking. Whenever the bowlers have done well, the teams have been in a position to win.

Abhimanyu Mithun’s technical glitch

There is a slight technical issue with his bowling, which we’re looking to address. Since we’re playing every second or third day, this is not the time to work on any technical aspect as we need to keep everyone in game mode. His non-bowling arm just opens up and hence he tends to push the ball to the right hander on middle and leg. Often, when that happens, the ball goes way down the leg side. Also, in order to compensate for that, he’ll bowl the next ball on the fourth or fifth stump, trying to get it back into the batsman. By doing that, he ends up giving width to the batsman to cut the ball. It’s a highly mental aspect. But if he can sort out the technical aspect of it, the mindset will also improve. I’ve been talking to him about that issue and he’s trying on his part to correct it as well.

Turnaround in bowling plans

It took some time doing that. We have been talking about that issue since a long time, and especially the lengths and lines we were bowling and what the ideal areas to bowl in were. In the end, everyone felt that a good ball is a good ball in any format. So, instead of taking too much pressure of doing fancy things thinking it’s the T20 format, we concentrated on bowling wicket to wicket and slightly on the fuller side. I’ll cite the example of the match we played here against KXIP. There was a bit of help from the pitch, but we bowled on the shorter side. Mandeep Singh played those pull shots and took the game away from us. That showed we bowled the wrong length. It took a long time to convince the bowlers, but in the end, they understood the importance of bowling fuller. Having said that, it also depends on the kind of wicket. It is very important to understand what the right length is on a particular track and adapt accordingly.

Virat Kohli the leader

He’s been very vibrant on the field and has been taking up the key positions as far as fielding is concerned. He doesn’t believe in staying in the 30-yard circle just because he is a captain. He also mans long-on, mid-wicket, etc, which are key positions in a T20 game. This shows he’s ready to up responsibilities in every way. His bowling changes have been fantastic in the last three games or so. He’s also someone who’s ready to listen to what the coaches have to say in terms of selecting the bowling attack and the strategies.
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