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IPL Staff in Bengaluru 06 April 2012 - 06:21pm IST

Our fielding needs to improve: Vettori

RCB skipper wants the team to shed tag of ‘slow starters’

The Royal Challengers Bangalore are fast gaining the reputation of being the bridesmaids in the IPL. After finishing in the top-four in 2009 and 2010, they lost the final to the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2011. In last year’s CLT20 too, the Bangalore franchise had to be content with the runners-up prize as the Mumbai Indians pipped them to the post.

This year, RCB is determined to change that. Skipper Daniel Vettori was optimistic of his team’s chances ahead of their first game of IPL 2012 against the Delhi daredevils on Saturday.

“Everyone’s pretty excited. We’ve seen the last couple of games on TV. Being one of the last teams to start, everyone’s just ready to get into it,” Vettori said during his pre-match media interaction in Bengaluru.

Losing the initial matches has hindered RCB’s momentum in the tournament in the last three seasons. The captain is aware of the issue and wants to address it this time around. He thinks an improvement in the standard of fielding will go a long way in achieving the desired result.
“It’s something we’ve talked about. Something that let us down at the start of the IPL and the champions League was our fielding. I think our fielding wasn’t up to the standard that allowed us to win games. Once we sorted that out, we started winning. That’s where we’ve been concentrating on the last few days in training,” Vettori conceded.

Vettori acknowledged the fact that he leads one of the strongest units in the tournament. He spoke fondly and confidently about each of his key players before kick-starting the tournament.

About his dashing opening batsman, Chris Gayle, the skipper said, “He’s proved himself to be probably the best T20 batsman in the world. I know he loves playing for Bangalore, he loves the ground out here. He set himself some pretty high standards last year, but we’re expecting much the same this year.”

Vettori was effusive in his praise for perhaps the most in-form batsman in his team, Virat Kohli. “He was good for us last year as well. The innings that he played in Australia and then the Asia Cup showed what a quality player he is, and he has established himself as one of the best batsmen in the world,” Vettori said.

He also expressed confidence that his pace spearhead Zaheer Khan will be “ready to go” after a good rest period. Vettori also welcomed the new players in the RCB camp and was confident they will add value to the team.

“We’ve made some pretty good improvements to the team. Vinay Kumar, Andrew McDonald and Muttiah Muralitharan are the international players coming in and we’ve got a number of young Indian guys pushing for places as well. Harshal Patel has impressed in the nets. We’ve got a big squad and we’ve got to whittle it down at some stage,” he said.

The RCB skipper signed off by hoping that the pitch at the Chinnaswami Stadium plays like it did last season. “I hope it’s like last year. The wicket really suited us, particularly our top order batsmen who were phenomenal both in the Champions League and the IPL,” he said.

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