Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) hope to bounce back Tuesday when they take on Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) III T20 Championship at the Chinnaswamy stadium here.
Unfazed by the shock defeat it faced in its opening game with Knight Riders in Kolkata Sunday, the runners-up in IPL II are bracing for a victory in front of a home crowd that is expected to rally behind it.
With local stars Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Robin Uthappa being in the team, coach Ray Jennings is working overtime to ensure the boys get their act together to outsmart Kings X1, against which they had won only once and lost thrice in the previous four encounters.
'We have put the defeat at Eden Gardens behind us. We were four down before we went on to win all the matches to reach the finals in South Africa last summer. The boys are positive and confident of giving their best to bounce back into the game.' Jennings told reporters late Monday on the eve of the match.
Admitting that the team did not have enough score to defend with 135 runs on the board after losing the toss and being asked to bat, the coach-cum-manager said the boys have to adjust quickly to the home pitches, which were different from what they were in South Africa last year.
'Our strategy depends on where we are playing and against whom. We have experienced players like Kumble and Dravid to decide which strategy to adopt or change. In South Africa, Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher used to give tips as they were familiar with the home conditions,' Jennings recalled.
Noting that the T20 game was unpredictable and full of pressure, the former South African wicket-keeper said the final 11 would be decided after inspecting the pitch and playing conditions Tuesday.
'We need to look at the pitch and the composition of the team we are playing against. Depending on the conditions, we will decide whether to field two spinners or two seam bowlers. The strategy will be to go all out to win,' Jennings noted.
Asked why Dale Steyn was not given the new ball in the opening match against Knight Riders, the coach said the strategy was to bring him into the attack after Praveen Kumar and Kallis bowled the first four overs.
'The plan didn't work. Our strategy backfired. Moreover, we didn't have enough runs on the board to defend and Knight Riders made a good start,' Jennings pointed out.
In the shorter version of the game, the first six overs were as crucial as the last six to determine the course of the match.
'T20 is a funny game. It's a package of batting, bowling and fielding. There is no room for complacency in any of the department. In the first encounter, our batting and fielding were bad. There were 26 dot balls out of 36 balls in the last overs,' Jennings added.
On the prospects of the team making it to the finals again, the coach said the gameplan was to not just make it to the finals but win the championship this time.
'As I said before, of the four teams that played in the previous two finals, three had lost in the opening games this time. You never know till the last match who will make it and who will not. We take each game at a time and do our best to win every match, no matter if it is a league match or a semi-final or final,' Jennings added.