Royals’ success built on smart cricket
Rajasthan Royals’ surge in this edition has surprised many. Their business strategy and management style is similar to that of a low-cost airline which focuses on efficiency and financial prudence, and is ruthless on frills and inessential expense, writes Amrit Mathur.india Updated: Apr 30, 2013 01:06 IST
Rajasthan Royals’ surge in this edition has surprised many. Their business strategy and management style is similar to that of a low-cost airline which focuses on efficiency and financial prudence, and is ruthless on frills and inessential expense.
At the auction, the Royals avoided star players to save their cash, and instead zeroed in on James Faulkner because the team needed to improve their death-over bowling. The rules allow teams to have 31 players on their roster but RR are happy with a leaner squad and choose to travel to away games with a small group.
“This works for us,” explains captain Rahul Dravid. “We have a compact squad and a lean management team. Each person is aware of his role, understands he can’t leave it for someone else so there is greater responsibility and greater accountability.
The Royals have been remarkably flexible in their cricket decisions, picking players not on reputation but according to conditions. Shaun Tait has been used sparingly and often Siddharth Trivedi has got the nod ahead of Sreesanth. Though they have a realistic hope of making the last-four cut, Dravid prefers to keep a lid on expectations. “There is plenty of cricket left,” he warns. “We have to be at the top of our game each time.”
Other teams are striving to do the same, and at Mumbai, the leadership team consists of people who have worked together in the past. John Wright is the head coach, back in India after a long, productive stint with the India team. John understands that in India cricketers are more important than cricket, which is why he prefers to stay in the background and shuns publicity.
Wright’s main ally is Anil Kumble, mentor of the team, someone he spent a lot of time with in the past. Anil, like John, is cool and collected but has an opinion and is unafraid to express it. John respects the experience Anil brings to the team and says he is delighted to work again with Sachin Tendulkar and Kumble. “Things change quickly nowadays,” he says with a smile.
“Anil was a player in the India team earlier. Now he is my boss!” Like Anil, VVS Laxman too has slipped effortlessly into his new role as mentor of the Sunrisers. Asked about the scope of his assignment, Laxman said it meant helping young Indians bridge the gap between Ranji and T20.
The writer is a delhi daredevils official