Coach Vettori exudes confidence


We have a balanced squad with the luxury of options, says New Zealander
Coach Daniel Vettori (left) feels the arrival of all-rounders like Stuart Binny (right) and ShaneWatson has bolstered the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad immensely. DH PHOTO
The Royal Challengers Bangalore, with the likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in their ranks, have appeared as a powerful unit in the recent history of the Indian Premier League. But when it comes to their ability to last the distance, the Bengaluru unit has flattered to deceive.

Ahead of yet another season, head coach and former New Zealand all-rounder Daniel Vettori is a happy man. The former RCB player believes his side can crack the code of winning the title, thanks to a fine balance that exists in the side.

"I am very happy with team we have. Last year, we did lots of things really well and this time around, we have a really balanced squad. We have got the luxury of options, which is a great thing to have," said Vettori here at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.

RCB kick-started their training session here on Monday and marquee players Shane Watson and Chris Gayle are expected to join the team on Wednesday.

The expectations are once again high from a team that have often produced exciting cricket. With the presence of the dangerous trio of Kohli, Gayle and De Villiers, the attacking flair will continue to exist in the unit but the addition of Watson and Stuart Binny has added the much needed balance to the squad, feels Vettori.

"Stuart Binny and Shane Watson, they have been the biggest change in the team. To have those guys who have the ability to bat in the top order and bowl four overs is a real luxury. You look at the teams that have been successful in the IPL so far -- Chennai (Super Kings) with the likes of (Ravindra) Jadeja, (Suresh) Raina and (Dwayne) Bravo and KKR who have Shakib (Al Hasan) with them. We’re banking on the fact that we have six or seven bowling options. As everyone knows, the Chinnaswamy is a tough place to bowl, so to give ourselves those options is very important.”

Watson, who called its quits from international cricket after the conclusion of the World T20, had a dream start to IPL. The all-rounder raked up 472 runs in 15 matches at an impressive average of 47.20 for Rajasthan Royals and was rightly adjudged the man of the tournament in the inaugural edition. Watson’s power-hitting and wicket-taking ability in pressure situations is a big plus for RCB.

Binny’s addition to the team is yet another encouraging sign, as the Karnataka all-rounder is a useful batsman lower down the order and his right-arm medium pace can prove to be a vital option.

RCB though isn’t completely devoid of worries. Injuries to key bowlers Mitchell Starc and Samuel Badree have forced their think-tank to work on their bowling combination. Starc, who injured his ankle last December, has been ruled out of the tournament and Vettori remarked that the absence of the left-arm seamer is a big loss to the team but stated that it is a great opportunity for youngsters to step up.

"Everyone’s seen how Mitch has bowled in the last couple of years, especially in his death bowling in T20Is. That’s something we’re going to miss. It’s difficult bowling at the Chinnaswamy and so whenever we had him in the team, we knew we had those four overs up our sleeve. That’s a loss but it’s an opportunity for the likes of Adam Milne and Kane Richardson to step up and fill in that slot."

Vettori added that it is too early to take a call on Badree, who is nursing a shoulder injury. "We know the quality that Sam brings and his record is fantastic. We’re just hoping he recovers from his shoulder injury and gets back to the team as soon as possible. He’s flying back to Trinidad. That was always the plan. He’ll see a specialist there and hopefully we’ll get some feedback soon."


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