Royal Challengers Bangalore are in desperate need of a win when they take on the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.
After a win in their first game against Kochi Tuskers Kerala, defeats against the Mumbai Indians, Deccan Chargers and Chennai Super Kings have seen Bangalore sink to the bottom of the IPL table.
Despite having one of the strongest squads in the tournament, the Royal Challengers’ over reliance on stars Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to produce match-winning scores is cause for concern, but the South African insists there is no panic in the camp yet.
“Like I said just now, we’ve got a great team spirit – we really do,” de Villiers said.
“We’ve got good coaching staff. I really can’t pinpoint anything that we are doing wrong except for bad fielding, bad bowling and bad batting – that’s exactly where the issue lies.”
“We’ve just got to go out there and play some good cricket which we haven’t done.”
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong. There haven’t been any issues at all between the guys.”
“We all love playing together, we really do. I think you can see it on the field except for the fact that we are losing. We’ve just to go out there tomorrow and get a win behind the belt and get a bit of momentum going.”
Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals side are also in need of a win, with back-to-back defeats against the league-leading Kolkata Knight Riders leaving them in sixth place on the table.
Source: Sportal – April 19, 2011
A few hours after he was appointed Sri Lanka skipper for the tour of England, Dilshan tried his hand at goalkeeping during a football match at Royal Challengers Bangalore’s training session at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Teammate AB de Villiers, who played alongside the Sri Lankan all-rounder for two seasons with the Delhi Daredevils, feels he has all the attributes to make a good captain. “Dilshan’s been a good player.
When you’re the captain it’s not just about playing your own game, but also working together with the team and being a good leader. Dilshan has those qualities,” he said.
Source: Hindustan Times – April 19, 2011
Graeme Smith’s successor as the Proteas’ one-day captain seems set to be either AB de Villiers or Hashim Amla.
Last August, Smith gave up the Twenty20 captaincy and said he would relinquish the one-day reins after the World Cup.
De Villiers has emerged as a modern superstar and he would be a popular choice to replace Smith. However, there will be concern that he is already in danger of being overloaded.
The Titans tyro is SA’s first-choice wicketkeeper in the one-day format and a key batsman in all the national teams, but he was unable to fulfil that dual role for most of the World Cup.
De Villiers sustained a lower back strain in the Proteas’ first match of the tournament. He did not keep wicket in SA’s next three games and missed their last group match entirely. That affected the balance of the team. Adding captaincy to De Villiers’ duties might prove to be the straw that breaks his back.
“He would lead from the front with a lot of energy, but he’s a busy man,” former Proteas coach Graham Ford said yesterday. “He is such a good player, but he already has so much to do.”
On the Amla side of the equation, Business Day has learned that Cricket SA (CSA) has had discussions with him about taking over the leadership. But he may need convincing.
“He has the credentials and the respect required to do the job, but he might not be that keen and they will have to sit down and talk to him,” said Ford, Amla’s coach at the Dolphins.
“He is very professional and he would want to look after his own game as priority number one,” said Ford. “Captaining is a massive job that would take the focus off his current primary role in the team.”
Amla has known the cares of captaincy before. He led SA to the under-19 World Cup final in 2002 and he was just 21 when he was appointed Dolphins skipper in 2004-05. Although he flourished, scoring four centuries in his first eight innings, he resigned the captaincy to concentrate on his batting.
“He was trying to establish himself in those days,” Ford said, adding that Amla “is a very different player now”.
Smith retains the captaincy of the Test side and remains available for selection in the one- day and Twenty20 teams, a situation that did not sit comfortably with Ford.
“Having more than one captain has not been a great success in the past,” Ford said. “Inevitably, the older captain tends to feel like he’s become a stranger in his own dressing room.”
Selection convener Andrew Hudson disagreed. Asked if Smith’s mere presence would not undermine the new captain, Hudson said, “We saw in the Twenty20s this season, with Johan Botha as captain, that Graeme pulled back and allowed Johan to get on with his job.”
But Botha’s place in the one- day team, at least, looks under threat. The off-spinner went to the World Cup as SA’s leading slow bowler in the limited overs format, but he returned as the third choice after leg spinner Imran Tahir and left-arm spinner Robin Peterson.
Hudson said the new captain would “need to be a regular in the side, a strong, composed leader who’s committed and wants to do the job”.
That would appear to rule out Botha and perhaps even Amla, if reports of Amla’s reluctance are to be believed.
Much would depend, Hudson observed, on the appointment at the end of May of the Proteas’ new coach.
“The coach will be critical in deciding who the new one-day captain is. The relationship between the two of them will be crucial,” he said.
Source: Business Day – April 15, 2011 / TELFORD VICE