This time, RCB’s coaching team has been revamped too, with the likes of Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra turning mentors for the Challengers.
He’s back as the head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and is looking forward to giving the team’s dedicated fans an exciting season of cricket. Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, who’s gearing up for IPL 2018, got candid about RCB’s new squad.
Ask the veteran cricketer what plan the team management had in mind before going into the auction and he says, “We were looking to build a strong all-round squad that could compliment the retention of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Sarfaraz Khan.”
With fellow Kiwi Brendon McCullum being one of RCB’s big buys, what were the main reasons behind picking him? “Brendon was in our plans, but we thought he may get too expensive and we were very happy to secure him at that price (Rs 3.6 crore). His skill and experience will be great for the team,” states Vettori.
From Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali, to Aniruddha Joshi and Pavan Deshpande, RCB’s got a makeover this year. With so many newbies in the squad who will be playing with each other for the first time, how does he intend to create a sense of team spirit? “All players take pride in their performance, so they will want to do well. From there, it is easy to create a sense of team and the coaching staff we have will allow that to happen,” says the man from Down Under.
This time, RCB’s coaching team has been revamped too, with the likes of Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra turning mentors for the Challengers. “I can’t wait to work with them. We know each other well and it was important to me to get them involved. With a World Cup-winning coach and an Indian player joining us, this is going to be great,” says Vettori.
As for RCB’s performance as a team during the course of the IPL, despite reaching the finals thrice, the franchise hasn’t been able to clinch the title. The 2017 season, in particular was a dismal one, with the team placing right at the bottom of the points table. Ask Vettori if there’s extra pressure to make a strong comeback and prove the critics wrong and he maintains, “IPL is pressure, but it’s my job along with the other coaches to create an environment that doesn’t allow players to feel stress. We want them to play their natural games at any stage.”
With the team’s tagline being ‘Play Bold’, how are they gearing up to live upto it? “We have two of the best in AB and Virat and Brendon will compliment them nicely,” says Vettori, of the batting combo that RCB aficionados can’t wait to watch in action.
As someone who’s been associated with the team since 2014, Vettori can’t help but mention the team’s loyal fan following. “They are the best fans in the world and we will do everything we can this season to reward them with some victories,” he promises.
While staying in the city, the cricketer has had a great time exploring places here. “I feel very privileged to call Bengaluru my second home. Our old trainer and assistant coach always takes me to traditional South Indian cuisine hang outs, where I love the food and enjoy eating with my hands!” he says.
Now, how can we not love this desi version of Dan?