“Cricket 2.0: Inside the Cricket Revolution”- a one-of-its-kind cricket book written by prolific journalists Tim Wigmore and Freddie Wilde- explores the depths of the shortest format of the game which indeed makes it an interesting read. In the book’s contents are some intriguing theories that the authors propose regarding the successes and failures of IPL teams.
One such study features the contrasting fortunes of the two franchises from South India- the RCB and the CSK. While the side from Chennai is found at the top of its game more often than not, its rival in red is almost always left gaping at the opposite end of the spectrum. The writers, on further research have credited this phenomenon more to the strategies that the franchises adopt off the field than on it. Auction tactics, team selections and dressing room atmosphere-all play a defining role in determining the success of the team-if the penmen are to be trusted.
In an attempt to validate their supposition, the writers went on to take the players’ opinion. While the words of former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid dominate the piece, the small yet controversial interview with ex Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum is the one that has been raising eyebrows. McCullum’s opinion is of great value here for he is one of the few players to have played for both the franchises.
“The difference between the two teams was ‘simple,' said Brendon McCullum – who played for both sides. “One team gives selection loyalty and works on the team they have; the other chases a perfect team and doesn't have a blueprint for how they are going to play.””
“CSK has very little “white noise” around them,” observed McCullum. “RCB have too much.”
McCullum’s opinion, in fact, was also seconded by another player who played for both teams, South African all-rounder Albie Morkel. Now that questions are being raised against the working of the Challengers’ think-tank, it shall be intriguing to see if the RCB do acknowledge their shortcomings and work towards neutralizing them.