As a loyal fan, I am concerned about Royal Challengers of Bangalore (RCB), my home town IPL cricket team. Since the 1st edition of the IPL, RCB has never enjoyed the dominating status compared to the likes of Delhi Dare Devils, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkota Knight Riders, or even Rajastan Royals. They have always been 2nd rung - in performance as well as perception.
What is the problem with RCB? I think it is many fold.
- Lack of dominating players: We don't have the likes of Adam Gilcrist, MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Shane Warne, etc. Of course we have Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Jacques Kallis, etc. But maybe some of these players are past prime, but I cannot call them dominating. We do not get to set the terms of the match against the opposition due to this lacuna.
- Lack of Match Winners: Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble were match winners in their haydays, but now we need to desparately search for a match winner among the team of 23. Kallis is probably the closet to being a watch winner but the responsibility is too much for him. How come the other teams have loaded themselves with not one but many match winners?
- Need bowlers who are capable of taking 3 or more wickets: Among set of bowlers in RCB, Dale Styen comes close to this qualification. But he looks so ordinary when playing the IPL. Is it lack of motivation? Others are all support bowler quality - Praveen Kumar, Kallis, Van der Merwe, etc. Anil Kumble is past his prime and can only give his heart out but cannot grab wickets. Now I still don't why we had to let go of Zaheer Khan. In exchange for Uthappa? No comment!
- Need a strong headed captain: The whole RCB team seems to be too genteel and needs a captain that can take the match to the opposition's court. Holding the bull by its horn type. Somebody who can marshall the diverse and scattered resources diligently. Kumble seems a bit at odds here. Kevin Pietersen seems to be the man, but if he can play consistently in the team.
- An out-of-the-box thinking coach: Ray Jennings seemed to get it right last season in IPL 2. But he needs to look beyond South Africa and get a more well rounded team. What about the choice of batting order, bowlers and the standard of the team's fielding. He sure has his hands full.
- A motivated and passionate owner: Agreed Vijay Malya is a dashing and hot headed business tycoon who can get the team very colorful and newsworthy. But I hardly see him getting passionate about the team by his actions or presence. Based on the players bought so far and what little has been done to rally the masses in Karnataka to root for he home team, he seems to be less interested in the success of the team and more in using it as an avenue to market his cash cow businesses. He needs to get more involved.