“She is an unbelievable talent” – Luke Williams on Shreyanka Patil

In the highly anticipated final between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, the Delhi Capitals, captained by Meg Lanning, won the toss and elected to bat first. Initially, off to a promising start with a score of 64 for no loss in the opening 7 overs, the Delhi Capitals suffered a drastic collapse, losing all their wickets for just 49 runs in the subsequent 11.3 overs, ultimately posting a total of 113 runs on the scoreboard. In their pursuit of victory, Royal Challengers Bangalore coached by Luke Williams successfully chased down the target in 19.3 overs with 8 wickets in hand, securing a convincing win.

“She is an unbelievable talent" - Luke Williams on Shreyanka Patil
“She is an unbelievable talent” – Luke Williams on Shreyanka Patil

The Women’s Premier League final marked a significant milestone for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, marking the first time in their franchise history that they secured the championship title, spanning the 16-year history of the Indian Premier League and one year of the Women’s Premier League.

This victory announced a new era for the team, with the Royal Challengers Bangalore Women claiming their inaugural Trophy. Led by Smriti Mandhana and coached by Luke Williams, the team underwent strategic transformations following the Women’s Premier League, reinforced by the influence of senior players. Their triumph stands as a testament to the impact of effective coaching and integrated team dynamics, culminating in a season of unparalleled success.

In August, during The Hundred tournament, the Bangalore skipper worked with the seasoned Australian coach, Luke Williams, who has a strong track record in women’s franchise cricket. Williams previously led the Adelaide Strikers to victory in the 2022 Women’s Big Bash League and served as the assistant coach for the 2023 Southern Brave team, champions of the Women’s Hundred.

Recognizing his expertise, Williams was appointed as the head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore by September. The impact was immediate and evident as the franchise clinched its first-ever trophy, showcasing the tangible results of their partnership.

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In an exclusive interview with Times Of India, Luke reflected on the remarkable achievement of winning the title, expressing immense pride and satisfaction. He extended his congratulations to the entire RCB organization and their supporters, recognizing the collective effort and dedication that contributed to their success.

He mentioned, “I’m extremely proud. I’m pleased for the people at RCB and their supporters. So much hard work has gone into making the champion team. It is hard not to be emotional. I always knew RCB was a big franchise with a huge fan base, but I’m blown away by the support.”

Luke Williams reflected on his time with Smriti Mandhana during the Hundred tournament with Southern Brave, underlining the significance of the connection between the head coach and the captain. He emphasized the value of mutual trust, which he believes serves as a solid foundation for effective teamwork. Williams expressed gratefulness for their familiarity with each other, highlighting how it assisted their partnership and contributed to their success.

He mentions, ” We know each other well and mutual trust is a good platform to work with.”

Williams shared his perspective on strategizing for the auction, noting his excitement about the squad’s nucleus and the lineup of both domestic and overseas players. However, he identified a need for additional variety in the bowling department and outlined this as a key component of their auction strategy. By focusing on building depth and diversity within the team, Williams aimed to enhance their overall performance. He emphasized the importance of planning and fostering camaraderie among the players, factors that he believes contributed to the team’s ability to showcase their best cricket.

He said. “I thought the nucleus of the squad was fantastic. But we needed a little bit more variety in our bowling and that was part of our auction strategy.”

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Williams praised the talent and resilience of Shreyanka Patil, acknowledging her challenging start to the tournament and her determination to keep going despite obstacles and injuries. He commended her unwavering confidence in both herself and the team, describing it as a driving force behind their collective belief in making an impact on the tournament. Williams highlighted Patil’s positive attitude and strong commitment to the team’s success as invaluable assets.

He believes, “She is an unbelievable talent who had a tough start to the tournament. She has the confidence and desire to compete despite challenges and injury. I think she was confident the team would eventually have an impact on the tournament. Her belief in the team and herself is infectious.”

Reflecting on the contributions of senior players such as skipper Smriti Mandhana and all-rounder Ellyse Perry, Williams emphasized their wealth of experience and their role as exemplary team members. He highlighted the significant roles they played in the team’s success, attributing their impact to more than just their statistical achievements. He emphasized that their influence extends beyond their individual performances, noting their ability to elevate the performance of their teammates. Williams praised Mandhana and Perry as not only exceptional players but also as role models in cricket.

He mentioned, “ It is not just about what they (Smriti and Perry) can do, but also how they can make other players better. They are fantastic role models not just in our team, but in world cricket. Both played important roles in our success, more than what the statistics will show.”

(Quotes sourced from Times of India)

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