Rajasthan Royals mentor Rahul Dravid says his side do not mind being called “underdogs” but their fighting brand of cricket makes them a tough side to beat.
Dravid, who led the team to the play-offs last season, said his side’s stress has been to assign clear roles for each players and try to execute plans on the field.
“If you look at our team on paper, you would call us underdogs … because we don’t have those stars. But we don’t mind the tag. It does not bother us anymore. We know every team is a good team and we have to perform. We don’t think too far ahead,” Dravid said.
“We get different people to perform. We don’t rely on a few stars. People who play against us know that we will always fight. We might not win every game, but we will always fight and compete. We will get the best out of our talent. I think that is something that you could classify as RR, and probably call it the RR brand of cricket,” he said.
Asked how different his new role as mentor from leading the side, Dravid said, “The pressure is lot less because I don’t captain the team. It is about strategy and planning. It involves working with the likes of Paddy Upton, Zubin Bharucha and Monty Desai, and trying to create a good environment for the players so they get what they need.
“And in the end, they have to do their job to perform in the middle. So we just try and create a good environment and give them a chance to perform and play at their best. And we do lot of the planning and preparation for them, so they have enough information when they go into the game. It gives them the best chance to succeed,” he was quoted as saying by the official IPL website.
The former Indian captain said what matters in T20 cricket was the clarity of roles of the players and execution of plans.
“Roles are important. We sit down with players at start of every season and tell them why they are in this team and what we think their roles would be. Of course, there needs to be certain amount of flexibility, but still we explain to them where exactly they might be batting and bowling and what they should practice and how we feel they should practice,” he said.
“So at least we are giving them that information about what their roles might be in this team and how they should go about executing those roles. And then it is up to them – they have to do the difficult part, which is executing the skills,” Dravid said.
Dravid, however, said that he did not believe in pep talks and last minute instructions.
“If you try telling people continued…