The perennial under-achievers of the Indian Premier League, Royal Challengers Bangalore, has from the beginning of the league in 2008, been trying to achieve the level of success that the franchise deserves. Things, however, have not sailed well for the Bengaluru-based IPL team till now.
The current head coach of the RCB is former Australian opener and left arm spinner Simon Katich. The franchisee roped in Katich ahead of the 2020 season of the IPL. In fact, RCB qualified for the play-offs in Katich’s first season as the team’s head coach.
Let’s look at how Katich has fared so far in his stint as RCB coach, along with the past coaches the franchise has had.
Head Coach Simon Katich Takes Charge
After Gary Kirsten’s sacking ahead of the 2020 season, Simon Katich was given charge of coaching the team as Royal Challengers Bangalore battled the novel coronavirus pandemic-struck season, which was delayed and later held in the UAE. RCB had a decent performance throughout the season as they qualified for the knock-out rounds after a couple of years. They, however, lost their eliminator match against Sunrisers Hyderabad and were knocked out of the tournament.
When IPL 2021 began, all eyes were once again on Virat Kohli & Co. Under the tutelage of Kartich, RCB delivered magnificently, winning 5 of the 7 matches before the tournament was suspended. Their last match before the IPL 20201 being called off was against Punjab Kings. If they continue with their form, qualification into the playoffs should not be a huge task for the franchise in the UAE.
RCB’s Backroom Staff
Simon Katich as the coach of RCB in IPL 2021, is assisted by Sridharan Sriram as the batting and spin bowling coach. Sriram has played eight ODIs for India and has also played for Delhi Daredevils and RCB. He comes with numerous coaching experiences under his belt. The former Indian all-rounder was a coaching consultant for Australia during their 2015 Bangladesh tour. Sriram also served as the assistant coach of the Delhi Capitals.
While Aussie pacer Adam Griffith is the bowling coach for RCB, Malolan Rangarajan is the fielding coach. Sanjay Bangar (Batting Consultant) and Mike Hesson (Director of Cricket Operations) are the other big names in the RCB leadership group.
Going Back In Time
Royal Challengers Bangalore, which played the first match of the IPL at its home-ground — Chinnaswamy Stadium, was coached in the initial year by former Indian pacer Venkatesh Prasad.
Prasad, who had previously been part of the coaching set up for the Indian national team at the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup in 2007, came to RCB after success with the national side. Things, however, were not smooth sailing as RCB ended the tournament at a lowly seventh position.
RCB Takes Foreign Coach Route
For the next edition of IPL held in South Africa in 2009, RCB appointed Ray Jennings as the head coach. The South African wicket-keeper gelled the team together by making Anil Kumble the captain of the franchise. Under Jennings, RCB saw success and made it to the finals of the 2009 edition of the league, opposite Deccan Chargers. Though the team lost the finals at Johannesburg, this was a big turn-around for RCB, who had a bad run the previous season.
For the 2011 season, Kumble was replaced by Daniel Vettori as the captain, after the Indian spinner had retired from all forms of cricket. RCB, under Vettori’s captaincy and Jennings as the head coach, qualified for the finals again, losing out to Chennai Super Kings in the summit match of the IPL.
Jennings continued as the head coach of RCB for the next two seasons — 2012 and 2013 — but failed to achieve the same success that he got in the previous editions, with RCB finishing just outside the top four of the table.
Vettori Becomes RCB Coach
The year 2014 saw a new face in the coaching set up at RCB, Jennings was replaced by former RCB captain, Daniel Vettori while Virat Kohli retained captaincy. RCB, however, failed to qualify for the knock-outs and ended the season in seventh place, winning just five games. The next season, 2015, was much better in terms of results as the team finished third in the league and only lost out to Chennai Super Kings in the second qualifiers.
RCB’s Finest Year
RCB’s finest hour was, however, the 2016 season of the Indian Premier League. Under Vettori as the head coach and Kohli as the captain, the Bangalore-based franchise played the best cricket it had played to date, with captain Kohli especially being in fine form, scoring 973 runs in a single season, which included four centuries. RCB defeated Gujarat Lions in the first qualifiers but lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the finals at their home ground in Bengaluru.
The 2016 results were, however, encouraging, and RCB persisted with the New Zealander for another season as the coach. The year 2017, however, was an embarrassing year for the team, which for the first time finished last in the league standings, winning just three games in the entire season. The dismal performance by RCB in 2017 led to major up hauls in the team for the upcoming seasons.
RCB Gets World Cup-winning Coach
For the 2019 season of the IPL, Daniel Vettori was replaced by Gary Kirsten as the head coach. Having already represented RCB in the past, Ashish Nehra was asked to shore up the team’s bowling attack. Kirsten, an experienced coach, having won the ICC Cricket World cup 2011 with India, was given the charge to improve RCB’s batting and look beyond the Kohli-De Villiers pairing.
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