Updated March 20th, 2024 at 00:19 IST

A year of planning: Skipper Smriti reveals the backroom brainstorming behind RCB’s WPL triumph

"The day after RCB lifted the WPL trophy, captain Smriti spoke about the painstaking preparations that had gone into turning the dream into reality."

Smriti Mandhana | Image:WPL/BCCI
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Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) captain Smriti Mandhana has revealed that the title triumph in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) involved as much as a whole year of meticulous planning and strategizing on and off the field.

From brainstorming the kind of dressing room culture they wanted to create, to having a dedicated communication group for the Indian domestic players in the off-season, RCB left no stone unturned in this labour of love that eventually led them to ultimate glory on Sunday.

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It was a night of multiple triumphs for RCB. The players showcased their peak performance in the pivotal tournament finale, adeptly seizing opportunities with the ball to limit the opponent to a modest total of 113 and then they demonstrated prowess with the bat, efficiently chasing the target with only two wickets down.

In addition to winning the Fair Play award, RCB also swept the individual awards in a historic first in the WPL, taking the Orange Cap for most runs 347 (Ellyse Perry), Purple Cap for most wickets 13 and Emerging Player of the Tournament (both Shreyanka Patil).

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The day after RCB lifted the WPL trophy, captain Smriti spoke about the painstaking preparations that had gone into turning the dream into reality. “The first thing, they were like, this is your team and build it the way you want to do it and set the culture. That was the biggest thing for me. And the second thing was that we really want to set a good culture in terms of, happy and positive stuff. So that was a big thing in terms of planning, how we want the team environment to be,” Smriti said.

“Then the second bit of planning, where we started chalking down names, started tracking players, like Sophie Molineux was injured last year. So we had to track her, whether she's doing fine, what's happening. (Coach) Luke (Williams) being from Australia really helped."

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Talking about the importance of the numerous training camps organized by RCB over the past year, Smriti said, “One very good thing RCB did was they conducted several camps last year. Training camps, fitness camps, batting and bowling-specific camps, that was also part of our planning. Our plan was to give a platform to domestic cricketers so that they were completely ready for this level."

She added, “Over the past one year we did a lot of video calls together. We had a group of our own Indian domestic girls and whenever they needed something we were all always there."

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“So if you are working for a year, your job becomes easier when the season arrives. Once the season starts, it becomes a bit hard to put in that kind of work. So RCB worked on them for a year, and that really paid off a lot in terms of how they were confident,” concluded Smriti.

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Published March 20th, 2024 at 00:19 IST