IPL 2019: Gary Kirsten hints at structural changes in RCB

RCB's head coach Gary Kirsten reflected on the team’s performance this season and spoke of a major structural overhaul that needed to be made to change the fortunes in the upcoming season.

Royal Challengers Bangalore failed in terms of fielding, especially catching, and in death bowling. The batsmen performed intermittently and were among the less guilty.   -  AFP

For Royal Challengers Bangalore a tough season has been the norm for a couple of seasons now. Starting the the current edition with six losses meant the Bengaluru side had a mountain to climb in its quest for a playoff spot. The goal was within sight when Virat Kohli led his team to four wins in six matches but with nature's intervention, it tumbled to a spot from where a recovery was impossible.

On Tuesday, Royal Challengers Bangalore will play the final league match of the season, against Sunrisers Hyderabad, with only pride at stake.

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RCB's head coach Gary Kirsten reflected on the team’s performance and spoke of a structural overhaul that needed to be made to change the fortunes in the upcoming season.  

“It has been a disappointing season. Obviously we would have liked to have had better results. I’ve been very encouraged with the second half of the season, since we only got two points in the first half. But we’ve won four of our last seven games, and one of them was a rained out game.  

“If you are on the back foot early and you have lost most of your games in the first half, you get into trouble in the second half. We have tried to pull it back. I thought we did a reasonably good job in pulling it back in the second half but it is always going to be tough winning seven out of seven,” the former India coach reasoned.

The team failed in terms of fielding, especially catching, and in death bowling. The batsmen performed intermittently and were among the less guilty.

Gary Kirsten, who succeeded Daniel Vettori as head coach and mentor this season after joining as batting consultant last year, said a lot of changes to the RCB set-up next year will be inforce.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

 

“It’s not difficult to work out the areas that we’ve struggled, those were seen in the matches... All teams have got strengths in them and all teams have weaknesses. You’ve got to hide those weaknesses as best you can and make sure your strengths are working really well. And if they're not and you’re losing games on the line, it makes a big difference.

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“Two big games that cost us that we should have won at the beginning of the season was against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders here ( at M. Chinnaswamy stadium). We lost both those games having played really good cricket for 95 percent of the game. If you are not winning those kind of games, they start to affect you big time during the season because we know that IPL is incredibly unpredictable and that games that you should be winning, you need to win,” Kirsten pointed out.

“I think one of the toughest things we’ve had to deal with this season is our international fast bowler never arrived, (Nathan Coulter-Nile)for two years actually. So that’s been quite a tough thing to deal with,” the coach opined.

Kirsten, who succeeded Daniel Vettori as head coach and mentor this season after joining as batting consultant last year, said a lot of changes to the RCB set-up next year will be inforce. “We’ve struggled in certain areas that we thought we would be okay in, so for next year we’re going to have make sure we build some strength in those specific areas.

"There are some structural changes that need to be made that have maybe been around for quite a long time. This is my first year as the head coach, so I’ve got a better understanding of what those are. We’ll certainly discuss with our owners and look into that for next year.”

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He, however, ruled out complete overhaul of the squad in the name of structure changes. “I’ve always been a fan of — as I’m sure all the coaches are in this IPL — a fan of continuity. You want to try and build your core of players and build a culture where you can keep coming back to the same players. I think the most successful franchises in IPL have done that. We’re searching for that in RCB.

“While there might be some structural change next year, I’m hopeful and confident we’ll have some continuity in our players. Because we need to really start building a core of players that we believe in, and back them. I think the franchises that do a lot of chopping and changing every year run into problems because IPL is not about an individual performing every IPL, that's just not going to happen. But if you keep backing guys they are going to come good for you one season,” he concluded.