Gaining momentum will bring best out of players: RCB coach Gary Kirsten
Gary Kirsten has a stiff challenge at hand managing players in a World Cup year. (AFP Image)

Royal Challengers Bangalore coach Gary Kirsten feels in order to get the best out of the team in this year, key will be for the players to attain momentum, which promises to pave the way for better performances. After yet another disappointing season last year, Kirsten believes RCB have addressed certain issues, based on which the players were recruited during the auction but it’s still early to come to a verdict whether those purchases will fetch rich dividends. (READ: Nehra in favour of IPL participation ahead of World Cup)

“I don’t think it takes rocket science to work out where our weak points were,” Kirsten said. “We’ve certainly tried to address that in our recruitment for this year. But as much as sport is about getting the right players on board, we have no clue if someone we’ve recruited is going to fire in this IPL or not. What we do know is we try to build a balance as best we can, based on learnings from past tournaments. (READ: Kohli dismisses speculations of limited IPL matches for India’s World Cup-bound players)

“You’ve got to have a hard edge around your performances, you’ve got to build some momentum in the competition. And if we’re able to do that, then some players that people think are not good enough might fire. There’s a lot of teams that wouldn’t have expected someone that did really well for them to do so. And we’re no different. A lot of doing well in this tournament is around how you build that momentum and how you understand to win games in really close situations.”

Kirsten, who was earlier associated with them as the batting coach, brings with himself an extensive experience having coached international teams of the likes of India and South Africa. Apart from that he has coached in the Big Bash League and the erstwhile Delhi Daredevils as well.

But this season, Kirsten faces an even stiffer challenge with the World Cup looming right after the IPL. Captain Virat Kohli had insisted that there in no cap on IPL participation for India’s players and that it is upto the individual players to manage their workload. While many former and current cricketers have expressed concerns regarding the participation of players in a tournament as gruelling as the IPL in a World Cup year, Kirsten echoed the thoughts of fellow coach Ashish Nehra, who feels the more players play, the merrier it is.

“We do understand all the international players, apart from the Indians, will be called back to their internationals teams anyway through the IPL,” Kirsten said. “We have to accept there’s not much we can do about that. We understand the demands that an international player has. We’ll be very reasonable in that space.

“And Ashish has made a good point: if you get yourself match-ready during the IPL, that’s going to hold you in really good stead during the World Cup. I think it’s an advantage to the Indian players, actually. Because the IPL is such a pressurised tournament, it’s great preparation for the World Cup.”