Shifting team culture every season main reason behind RCB’s failure: Gary Kirsten

RCB sacked Kirsten as head coach after the disastrous IPL 2019 campaign.

RCB failed to make it to the play-offs in last year’s IPL | IANSFormer South Africa opener Gary Kirsten’s CV as a coach is quite impressive. He has mentored the star-studded Indian cricket team, Proteas national side, different franchises in IPL and BBL after calling time on his international career in 2004.

Kirsten’s most recent stint was with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League. He was first added to the RCB camp as batting coach and took over as head coach ahead of the 2019 edition, replacing Daniel Vettori.

See Also: Aakash Chopra weighs in over Virat Kohli’s lacklustre showing as RCB skipper

However, as the Virat Kohli-led side failed to make it to the play-offs in last year’s IPL, RCB sacked Kirsten and handed the job to ex-Aussie batsman Simon Katich.

Recently, Kirsten opened up about his time at RCB and criticized the franchise for shifting team culture every season.

“Time, biggest difference (between coaching an international team and an IPL franchise). It’s very difficult to build an identity with a team, with a diverse group of players, and to build something that can transcend time. If you take the most successful franchises, what they have done well, the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings, they have been able to build time into their program,” Kirsten said on The RK Show.

“So, from one IPL season to the next, the same philosophies, the same cultures apply. So to shift a culture like RCB, which I think does require a culture shift, it takes time. The bottom line is that your job is on the line from game one. So, when there’s pressure on performance, you start to crisis-manage and then you are gone."

RCB had an underwhelming campaign in IPL 2019. With only 5 wins from 14 games, they finished the league stage as the bottom-placed team in the points table.

This was the third year in a row now that RCB failed to qualify for the play-offs round and the Bangalore-based franchise are yet to lift the trophy in 12 seasons.

“I think there’s a lot of different reasons (why RCB haven’t won the IPL title). Last year, we missed the playoffs by one point. I had my most enjoyable coaching year, with RCB last year, and I got fired. We lost our first six games in a row and then we won five out of our next seven and there was a rained-out game, so effectively we won five out of our next six. I kind of felt that we were starting to move in a direction where how we wanted to build an identity in the team started to realise itself. The problem with IPL is that everything is over so quickly and then everyone does a kind of debrief of the season and if the season hasn’t gone well, there has to be a change. And then you move on to new set of practitioners, which I think is the worst thing to do.

“And with RCB, what we were certainly trying to do last year was trying to introduce that the best we could. The focus of attention was lesser on Virat [Kohli] and lesser on AB [de Villiers], and we wanted to bring in some other superstars into the team. We wanted other guys to be recognised for their performances. But that takes time to build,” Kirsten remarked.


By Salman Anjum - 19 Jul, 2020

    Share Via