Positive team culture key to winning, says RCB head coach Simon Katich

After failing to make the play-offs for three straight seasons, finishing rock bottom on two of those occasions, RCB has completely overhauled its coaching structure.

A positive team culture was more important than assembling a group of good individual players, felt Katich.   -  G.P. SAMPATH KUMAR

Mike Hesson and Simon Katich have some task on their hands. As Royal Challengers Bangalore’s new Director of Cricket Operations and head coach, respectively, they are in charge of reviving the fortunes of a side that has been one of the IPL’s biggest underachievers. 

After failing to make the play-offs for three straight seasons, finishing rock bottom on two of those occasions, RCB has completely overhauled its coaching structure. Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra have departed while Hesson and Katich have arrived.

The former Tasmania fast bowler Adam Griffith has been appointed the bowling coach, and S. Sriram the batting and spin-bowling coach. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner Malolan Rangarajan will work as the Head of Scouting – a role that, like Hesson’s, has been newly created.

Team Culture

Hesson and Katich addressed the media here on Thursday and it was clear that scouting and auction strategy – areas that in the past did not appear to be RCB’s strong suit – were going to be a priority. “We are well aware that we need to do a few tweaks within the squad to get the balance that we think we need,” said Hesson. 

“There are plenty of options within the trade window and within the auction period. That’s what Simon and I have been consumed with over the last couple of weeks. We have appointed a head of scouting. That’s a good start. We are going to put together a really good group of scouts who will go to tournaments.”

A positive team culture was more important than assembling a group of good individual players, felt Katich. “You need guys with character who are prepared to put the team first over their own individual needs. Yes, there a lot of players with talent but then do they play like winning teams? Are they contributing to be part of winning teams? These are the things we need to weigh up when making judgements,” he said.

RCB begins every season with the hope of that first IPL crown but Hesson was clear that a lot of work needed to be done before entertaining such thoughts. “You can't run before you walk,” he said.

“We've got to do the background work before we even think about the title. We need the right environment, the right style of play, and players who complement that. There's a lot of pieces of the puzzle. It's not just going to happen because we want it.”