Home > Features >

IPL: Lessons to learn from Rajasthan Royals

Shane Warne and Rahul Dravid constantly motivated their team © IANS
Shane Warne and Rahul Dravid constantly motivated their team © IANS

They have been the moneyball team since the first edition of the Indian premier League (IPL). What is it that makes Rajasthan Royals great without boasting of star players? Abhijit Banare notes down some key lessons from the RR set up.

1) It’s all in the leadership (mentor): Shane Warne and Rahul Dravid, two of the finest brains in cricket, led Rajasthan for six seasons. Their abilities were unquestionable, but leading an underdog team requires ability to motivate and channelise young talent to get the results. It’s interesting to note the phase in which these two players were in when they led RR. Warne had no pressure of impressing any selector out there. It was all about enjoying the leadership and helping the team win. Having seen their personal highs and lows, it was about putting the team first. When two remarkable cricketers have set such a legacy, captains who follow have a path paved out for them.

2) Understanding your resources: One of the reasons why Rajasthan is looked upon as an underdog is because of how the team-sheet looks like – they have consistently looked among the least intimidating sides in every edition. Yet, that’s not the way the team management looks at it. What typifies the Rajasthan team is how the jigsaw puzzle fits in to form a perfect picture. Take any example and you can define their identity. Rajat Bhatia has been a reliable batsmen for Delhi, yet when it comes to Rajasthan he is the one to make the run-scoring difficult for batsmen. And match after match, the captain unfailingly uses him. The well-defined identity allows each player to feel comfortable in their own space. This has been a less noticed hallmark of Rajasthan’s success right since the first season. When each player knows his role and how to complement with the other, the team automatically gels and the results start coming in. Even if results go wrong, there is no panic in the team.

3) Big names were created not bought: Today Sanju Samson, Pravin Tambe , Ajinkya Rahane and others are among the finest in the shortest format. But none of them have an awe-inspiring record. However, Rajasthan chose what fits in and the results are there to be seen. These players have given an invincible feel to the team by delivering consistently. It’s an easy task to shell out money in the auction and build a team around match-winners, but Rajasthan have created match-winners of their own. Rahane’s calmness at the top, Watson’s brutal hitting skills, Sanju Samson’s elegance make them among the many match-winners RR now possess. Rarely have we seen the Royals dependent on the form of one batsman or bowler throughout the season. That clearly defines what team effort means.

4) Having faith in your resources: Building a pool of talent and ensuring they perform are two different tasks. Every IPL team has new faces, yet seldom do teams take the risk of using them in the playing XI. Players like Apoorva Wankhede and Pawan Suyal would have already learnt a lot from such an esteemed set of support staff in the Mumbai Indians camp. But all that matters only when you get to put them to use. Meanwhile, Rajasthan have never shied away from using unheralded players. Kamran Khan, Sanju Samson, Rahul Shukla, Vikramjeet Malik, Kevon Cooper. The list goes on. The delightful part of the story is that most of them have managed to make their opportunities count. And it’s not a coincidence, but the team atmosphere which makes a difference.

5) Underdogs forever: With the limelight on Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid was often perceived as the unsung hero. No wonder that he carried the same identity happily to a team with similar characteristics. Thanks to the lack of big names, Rajasthan have been stereotyped as underdogs season after season. And they weren’t worried about it one bit. Instead, they enjoy the lack of pressure carrying on their work with calm and focus.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 54 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

Photos

Cobras vs Hurricanes Match 6 at Hyderabad

Videos

Daniel Flynn looks ahead to Hobart game

Brendon McCullum’s stunning fielding effort in CSK vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 match

Chennai Super Kings’ top five batting performances

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014: Northern Knights likely XI

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014 – Hurricanes’ likely XI

Anandji Dossa – a life to cherish

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab

CLT20 2014: KXIP’s Thisara Perera feels it’s good to have variations in bowling

Asian Games 2014: Sri Lanka women beat Hong Kong in women’s cricket

KXIP coach Sanjay Bangar says there’s scope for lot of improvement in their CLT20 2014 campaign

Ben Cutting signs 3-year contract with Brisbane Heats

CLT20 2014: Uphill task for Perth Scorchers as they face upbeat KKR

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014: Key Clashes

Chennai Super Kings’ top five batting performances

Asian Games 2014: Afghanistan eye cricketing glory after 2010 heartbreak

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014: Northern Knights likely XI

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014 – Hurricanes’ likely XI

Fan of the Day

Edward Knowles

Edward Knowles

447 Posts | 1 Fans

Video: Brendon McCullum's amazing fielding in CSK vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 match

HTC Desire 816G vs HTC Desire 816: Here’s what’s new

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014: Key Clashes

Asian Games 2014: India’s Y Sapana Devi finished with 7th place in wushu changquan final

NGOs pursue education for all

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Bigg Boss 8 episode 2: Upen Patel makes Sukirti Kandpal cry – View pics!

White tiger kills youth in Delhi zoo

CLT20 2014: KXIP’s Thisara Perera feels it’s good to have variations in bowling

Bigg Boss 8 Contestants: Is Sushant Divgikar the new VJ Andy of the house?

Jolla smartphone price, specifications and features

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here