Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore had replenished their bowling resources to a great extent in the auction ahead of the upcoming sixth edition of the IPL and the Bengaluru-based franchisee’s South African coach Ray Jennings is expecting “a lot of fun this season” and is optimistic about reaping the benefits of the wider pool.
“We’ve reinforced a huge part. We’ve four or five options and it’s a lot of competition which I really like. We got spinning options as well with Murali Karthik coming in.
“If there’re some injuries and niggles, there will be better options available this time. Hopefully, the players perform on the day,” said Jennings on the first day of the team’s preparatory camp at the NCA ground.
The batting scene too looks rosy for RCB, according to Jennings.
“(Cheteshwar) Pujara, last year, really wasn’t part of the team and he has performed. His challenge is to now play the same of quality cricket in the 20-over format as he does in Tests. (Virat) Kohli is right at the top in world ratings, so is AB de Villiers.
Dilshan is coming off a hundred and Gayle too is good nick. So as a unit, the side is looking good from a batting point of view,” adds the coach.
With Daniel Vettori being replaced by Kohli as skipper this season, the South African terms it as a positive step and it gives them more options given the mandatory rule of four overseas players in the eleven.
“There’s advantages and disadvantages in having a foreign captain or a local captain. To replace Vettori with Kohli is not a downward move. He is looking to captain India soon. It’s a positive move from his and RCB’s point of view. He’s going to gain experience from guys like de Villiers, (Tillakaratne) Dilshan, Gayle and Vettori. I hope Virat becomes the player we all want him to become,” pointed out Jennings.
At the practice session, four batsmen – Vijay Zol, Sheldon Jackson, Abhinav Mukund and Arun Karthik – and five bowlers – Pankaj Singh, Jaydev Unadkat, Syed Mohammed, K.P.Appanna, Harshal Patel – went through the paces under the watchful eyes of Jennings and batting consultant Mark O’Donnell.
Veteran pacer Zaheer Khan has landed in the city and is slated to join the camp on the morrow.