Home Cricket news ‘He had a phenomenal T20I record’: How Rahul Dravid helped Rajasthan Royals...

‘He had a phenomenal T20I record’: How Rahul Dravid helped Rajasthan Royals find an explosive batsman

Rahul Dravid started his IPL profession enjoying for the Royal Challengers Bangalore however it was his stint with Rajasthan Royals which individuals keep in mind extra fondly. After spending three seasons with RCB, Dravid switched to Royals forward of the 2011 season and loved a broader function on the franchise. Besides batting, Dravid served as mentor and had a bigger function to play being a part of the administration.

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Since Dravid got here on board, Moneyball-like Royals began making good buys. In 2011 and 2012, the Royals didn’t expertise a memorable marketing campaign, ending sixth and seventh respectively, however the season after, the franchise locked a Champions League berth by ending third. One of the extra impactful gamers who was delivering for the franchise was Australia’s Brad Hodge.

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“After RCB, I moved on to RR and I got into more of a captain-coach-management role and we were looking through a lot of data and stats. At RR, we were literally a Moneyball team. We had to compete with the top teams with 40-60 percent of the budget. It’s not easy in an environment where everyone has a lot of data and knowledge,” Dravid mentioned on the Insights vs Insights panel dialogue.

“One of the things we noticed was Brad Hodge… had a phenomenal T20I record in Australia and had probably played 5-6 IPLs, and had a very average or poor record in India. Once we looked at the data closely, we sort of realised why he was struggling in India. He was clearly a player who was very good against fast bowling, but wasn’t very good against, say, left-arm spin bowling and leg spin. But he had an incredible strength of being good against fast bowling.”

Hodge was by no means the explosive T20 batsman – like a Chris Gayle or an AB de Villiers. He just about got here from the Dravid college of batting – an accumulator of runs, able to being the batting pillar throughout an inning. Despite a poor file in India, Dravid discovered a strategy to flip Hodge into this T20 specimen, who would go after the bowling in dying overs, succeeding as a rule.

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“One of the things we looked at was, which is the position of the game where someone like Hodge will play only fast bowling, and we sort of looked at the last four-five overs where everyone brings their best death bowlers back into the game. We decided at that stage that we will buy him in the auction, and bat him in the last 5-6 overs in the match,” Dravid added.

“Hodge, as you know, is an Australian batsman who is really proud of his batting ability, and he is used to batting in the top three in Australia. He was obviously resistant to this when we told him initially. But then we were able to show him data, and his success against fast bowling, and how critical it was for a team like us [that] didn’t have the firepower – like CSK had [MS] Dhoni, MI had Kieron Pollard or RCB had an AB de Villiers.”

Hodge, who had spent the primary three seasons of the IPL enjoying for the Kolkata Knight Riders and one for Kochi Tuskers Kerala didn’t have a lot to point out for his efforts. From 19 matches, Hodge scored 476 runs for KKR, and 285 runs from 14 video games for the Tuskers. But his fortunes modified when he jumped ships to the Royals, and throughout the subsequent two seasons, scored 245 and 293 runs. He had a strike-rate of 140 and 134.40 within the two seasons respectively and performed a essential function within the Royals’ highway to the Playoffs that 12 months, averaging 41.85.

“In a team like that, we told him, ‘You are the best bet in the last five overs and here’s the data to show why you have been unsuccessful in the IPL and what we can do to help you become successful’.” “He scored much fewer runs than he would have if he batted at three but this gave us the best chance to get the best out of him,” Dravid mentioned.


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