Dubai: Royal Challengers Bangalore fans have been waiting patiently for their franchise to win their maiden Indian Premier League title. In the last 13 editions, the red and black jersey have made it to three finals, but failed to get a hold of the trophy. It is a thorny issue for the new coach Andy Flower. But the Zimbabwean is confident of living up to the challenge and says the team has immense talent and will be aiming high.
“I’m really looking forward to the prospect of being one of the leaders in the RCB group. They are a huge franchise and have a very big fan base. I’ve got some big cricketers in that group. So it’ll be a lovely professional challenge for me, which I’m really looking forward to,” the former Zimbabwe captain told Gulf News.
The RCB head coach comes with a strong pedigree as an international coach, which the IPL franchise is hoping to capitalise on to end their duck this season. The team is filled with match-winners led by Faf du Plessis and talismanic Indian batter Virat Kohli to steady the batting that also has star Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and some impressive talents like Rajat Patidar, Anuj Rawat and Mahipal Lomror. But the inclusion of another Australian all-rounder Cameron Green is set to tilt the balance in Bangalore’s favour down the order.
“We’ve just had a very busy few days in the lead up to the retention and releases that needed to be completed. You will have seen a high-profile trade done for Cameron Green. It’s also a high value deal, so that’s really exciting for RCB,” Flower, who is also the coach for the Delhi Blues in the Abu Dhabi T10, added.
The left-hander was roped in as an Assistant Coach to Australia during their triumphant 50-over World Cup campaign in India last month.
“I’ve just been seeing Green up close with the Australian team. He’s a real talent. We’ve seen only a snippets of it during his stint with Mumbai in the IPL last year. I think he’s going to be a hugely important cog in the wheel for RCB in this coming IPL.”
The Mini auction, to be held in Dubai on December 19, will help RCB fill the gaps, especially in the bowling department after releasing some big names like Wanindu Hasaranga, Josh Hazlewood and Harshal Patel.
In a firm message to the ardent fans, who have been patiently waiting for RCB to clinch the title, Flower said: “What I’d like to do is get our guys loving what they’re doing. And enjoy being together when they face the challenge of nine other excellent teams in the IPL.
“My job is to make strong connections within our group and will be aiming high. There are no guarantees on outcomes and I think we all understand that’s the reality of competitive sport and life. But what we can do is have an outstanding attitude to what we do and if we do that, then we’ve got a good chance of getting good results,” he concluded.