All of us from last year had evolved more in terms of the Twenty20 game, writes Anil Kumble

What a tournament the second season of the IPL has been!

Going into the final stages, seven of the eight teams were in with a chance of making it to the semis and beyond. Such scripts cannot be written, that much is for sure.

For a lot of us, Twenty20 was a new game and, as a consequence, the Royal Challengers Bangalore got off to a bad start. We tried different things but nothing seemed to work.

This season we decided to bring in a couple of extra hitters, but more importantly, all of us from last year had evolved more in terms of the Twenty20 game. There was more experience, individuals were more aware of the possibilities of what could be done in a short time.

Naturally, the results were better and we ensured that no one could have any complaints of us as a team.

No let up

What I learnt is that the most important thing is to be on the button all the time. You have to be brave and back your instincts, no matter what. That’s a mindset change more than a technical one and each one of us made it a point to adapt.

The other thing we learnt is that the team has to rally around one or two players on the day.

As a batsman, you get only 20 overs but you basically control the game. You have to try and maximise once you’re in and you’ve played 25-30 balls.

Look for wickets

When you’re bowling you have to be aggressive and look for wickets. If you try to just keep it quiet, you will invariably go for runs. That is something we repeatedly emphasised in our team meetings.

Also, you can’t try to ride out a difficult phase. If the ball is doing a bit or a bowler is going well and you try to hang in there with a view to cash in later, it’s not going to work.

And it was not as if the tournament went well for us all the way through. When the results are not going your way, the challenge is to look at each game as an individual event, keep away the frustration and be brave till things turn around.

It’s not easy to have such a fearless mindset and we’ve seen that the younger guys can adapt quicker. The way we were brought up, smashing the ball in the air, first up, isn’t the most natural thing. But the younger guys have grown up with a different way of looking at the game. The best example of that has to be Manish Pandey.

Hawkeye Communications

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