Former Australia all-rounder Andrew McDonald who has been recently appointed as the head of Rajasthan Royals believes that the franchise can grow manifolds under his guidance to the extent of becoming the champions of the forthcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) whose auction is scheduled to take place on December 19.
Rajasthan Royals last won the tournament under the leadership of Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne way back in 2008 which was the inaugural edition of the Indian T20 tournament. Since then, the team has faltered in getting hands onto the trophy with merely three times being able to qualify for the playoffs.
The previous edition of IPL had witnessed the Rajasthan-based franchise finish at the seventh spot in the points table with five wins in fourteen matches and 11 points to their name.
McDonald, who has been appointed as the head coach of Rajasthan Royals for the coming three years says that his emphasis would be on improving the franchise’s functionality in all the departments namely – batting, bowling, and fielding.
“I see this as an enjoyable opportunity. The common thing is that we are working to win matches for Rajasthan” said McDonald whilst speaking to IANS.
“Rajasthan have made it to the final four 4 times out of the 10 seasons they have played. Our challenge is to improve and make that improvement sustainable over a period of time.
“I am looking forward to improving the team so that we go from underdogs to title favorites leading into the tournament,” added the 38-year-old.
However, the former Australian all-rounder who has earlier been a part of IPL franchises believes that there are multiple reasons for their below-par performances.
“I think there are multiple reasons why teams don’t succeed, don’t potentially make it to the final four. One of them is that a lot of the opposition teams are very strong. It’s a very competitive competition and it’s tough to make it to the final four.”
The victoria born earlier played for Delhi Daredevils in the 2009 edition before being roped in by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for 2012-13 seasons. The stints at IPL were followed by his inclusion into Big Bash League (BBL) franchises wherein he represented Adelaide Strikers (2012-14) and Sydney Thunder (2014-16).
He was also appointed as the bowling coach of RCB and in October 2019 was appointed as the assistant coach to Justin Langer for Australian men’s cricket team.
Having represented an IPL franchise before, McDonald, who has been a part of four Test matches for Australia feels it gives him an advantage in the coming season.
“There are going to be highs and lows throughout the course of the seasons. I call the T20 format a rollercoaster, it goes up and down,” said the 38-year-old who has played 93 T20s to date.
“And so by playing in the IPL, it does give me the understanding of what all the players are going through,” added McDonald.