Bangalore, Mar 28: Former New Zealand assistant coach Mark O'Donnell has been appointed as Royal Challengers Bangalore's (RCB) batting coach for the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League.
O'Donnell has arrived in Bangalore and was with RCB head coach Ray Jennings and the players on the inaugural day of the team's preparatory camp at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Tuesday evening.
The New Zealand-born O'Donnell was until recently New Zealand's assistant coach and had also travelled with the Kiwis team when they played here in India in 2009.
He also has experience of coaching teams in South Africa. He was involved in coaching in South Africa for 17 years from 1985. He was an assistant coach with Eastern Province under Kiwi former coach David Trist. O'Donnell also coached Gauteng team. His CV includes guiding those teams to multiple domestic titles.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday evening at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, O'Donnell elaborated on his role.
“I think my role is to support the coach (Ray Jennings), Dan (Daniel Vettori) and the side. I am here to help the team with its batting and help them execute the stuff,” he said.
On queried as to how he landed this job, he said: “We have been talking for the last year and a half a little bit. Dan (Vettori) has watched me do the work with the New Zealand players and that worked out pretty good for me.”
O'Donnell is looking forward to being associated with IPL for the first time. Previously he has watched it only on TV.
“I am really looking forward to it. I have seen a bit of IPL on television, it is a different experience.”
With powerful hitters like Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan in the side, O'Donnell was asked as to what role he would have in guiding them.
“I think my job is to get some of the second tier guys as close to some of the first tier guys. With players like Gayle, AB de Villiers and a Vettori, it doesn’t matter but obviously we will work on the small things with them. It is about asking them about how we can be of help.”
He felt that coaching a T20 team not much different from ODIs and Tests but admitted it is much faster than the other formats.
“It is a bit dangerous for the coach because the ball comes back a lot more faster. A lot of that boils down to experience. It is about helping batsmen cope with the variations (of bowlers) but nothing much changes,” he said.