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RCB skipper wants the team to shed tag of ‘slow starters’
By IPL Staff
Bengaluru 06 April 2012
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.
Deccan Chargers begin their IPL 2012 campaign with a fixture against defending champs Chennai Super Kings. DC – winners in 2009 – finished seventh in the previous season, and they will be hoping for a much-improved performance this time around.
Chennai Super Kings, meanwhile, will want to recover quickly from the early setback of losing to the Mumbai Indians in the opening fixture of the season.
Saturday, April 7, 2011, 08:00 p.m.
ACA-VDCA Stadium, Visakhapatnam
In the absence of regular captain Kumar Sangakkara, Deccan Chargers bosses have handed the reins of the team to Cameron White. It’s a huge responsibility, considering White was recently relieved of the captaincy of the Australian Twenty20 team for lack of form. There’s no doubting that White is an exciting player – and one of the most-experienced in the format; he will need to raise his game by several notches and lead from the front.
White will also be hoping his fellow Australians Daniel Christian and Daniel Harris can deliver the goods. Also look out for Dale Steyn, who will relish the pace and bounce the surface at the ACA-VDCA Stadium offers.
In the CSK colours, look out for the Indian trio of Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and million-dollar man Ravindra Jadeja. While Raina did score 36 in the game against MI, he wasn’t close to the form that has made him the leading run-getter in the IPL. He will want to hit form quickly, as will Dhoni and Jadeja who didn’t score too many in that opening fixture. Previous Meetings
Deccan Chargers and Chennai Super Kings have shared the spoils evenly in the eight previous meetings between them. In the last two meetings, though, CSK have come out winners, beating their opponents by fair margins on both occasions.
• The ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam will become the 24th venue to host an IPL game.
• Chennai Super Kings’ Suresh Raina and S Badrinath share the record for most appearances in the IPL; they’ve appeared in each one of CSK’s 63 matches.
Deccan Chargers will remain in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam following this fixture. They host Mumbai Indians in their second fixture on April 9, while Chennai Super Kings will travel to the national capital to take on Delhi Daredevils on April 10.