Thursday, April 22, 2010

Post Mortem!

RCB has done it yet again. From treading on the right path at the initial stages, to losing it mid way: the team never capitalized on the initial advantage it got. Blazing away to four straight victories gave the team a cushion, from where they could comfortably proceed to the semis. But pathetic performances, coupled with some mindless decisions by the management created all the road blocks. So what were the ingredients that cooked up the perfect recipe for disaster? Complacency? Overconfidence? Laid back attitude? What went wrong?

An analysis:

- Jacques Kallis: Unfair to call him THE culprit. Yet, he was in some manner, responsible for the sloppy start in terms of run rate. The top contender for the orange cap, the way every innings of his was paced, somehow reflected that the orange cap perhaps was the reason behind his cautious batting. Prime example would be the match against the Rajasthan Royals, where the bowlers managed to restrict them to a modest total. What seemed to a cake walk, was complicated because of a snail-paced batting by the burly South African. However, one cannot really overlook his contribution with both bat and ball.

- Batting order: RCB never had a fixed batting order. Goswami was an utter failure. No fixed opening pair, no fixed middle order batsmen. It could have worked in the team’s favour, for the intention was right: to keep the opposition in the dark, so that they would be unable to come up with a substantial strategy to combat the batting line up, that looked pretty strong on paper.

- Team Selection: More often than not, having a constellation of stars in the team, and being made to pick and choose from them leads to a happy headache. Some of the top international faces: Kallis, KP, White, Merwe, Boucher, Steyn, Taylor, Morgan are unbelievably, a part of the same team. However, the dilemma arises when the management’s hands are tied to picking up only four of them. With such quality players, it becomes difficult and confusing to drop the axe on some of them. That leads to a rather distorted vision regarding the ideal team combination.

- Bowling Attack: The bowling lacks sharpness. Apart from Steyn, no bowler could generate pace while not compromising with the basics. Vinay Kumar was impressive, yet, lack of experience did play a role. The spin department was spearheaded by Jumbo, which, undoubtedly was effective. However, The semi finals witnessed Jumbo’s deliveries being thrashed, with the no balls adding insult to injury. Bowling needs to be focused and clinical.

- Fielding: Inconsistent. From coming up with blinders, to dropping sitters, RCB has done it all. Ground fielding was average; field placements were not attacking. Strategic Time Outs were inconsequential. Leaking singles and doubles spelt doom. 

- Batting: Despite having a 60% winning rate while chasing, it was ironical that RCB lost all the crucial matches batting second. A solid batting line up, they seemed to be in a wild goose chase, even when the target was meagre. In the blitz form of the game, every dot ball ticks the required run rate higher, and after the piling run rate, it is more or less an uphill task.

Despite the issues mentioned above, there have been a number of postives that have emerged post the IPL. Robin Uthappa’s towering sixes, Vinay Kumar’s and Appanna’s lethal bowling, Rahul Dravid’s superb catching…These are positives not just for RCB, but for the national side as well.

Whatever happened will be heart-breaking, yet we will continue to cheer loud and clear…..We are Game For More….always!!!! :)