IPL: Andrew Barry McDonald wants to turn Rajasthan Royals from underdog to champions

NEW DELHI: Former versatile Australian Andrew Barry McDonald, who has been appointed as head coach of Rajasthan Royals , expects the franchise to make improvements by leaps and bounds below it and eliminate the losers tag to one of the champions in the next editions of the Indian Premier League ( IPL ).

Rajasthan Royals had won in the inaugural IPL season in 2008 under legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne. However, after that, the Rajasthan-based franchise hasn't been able to perform as per expectations. In fact, in the 9 seasons they have participated after their title win in 2008, Rajasthan have been able to make it to the play-offs only three times.

In the last edition, Rajasthan finished in seventh place after registering five victories and finishing with 11 points at the end of the league stage.

Speaking to IANS, McDonald, who has been appointed for the next three years, emphasized that his only goal will be to improve in all departments and make it sustainable.

I see this as a pleasant opportunity. The common thing is that we are working to win games for Rajasthan, McDonald said.

Rajasthan has reached the last four four times of the 10 seasons they have played. Our challenge is to improve and make that improvement sustainable over a period of time.

I'm eager to improve the team so that we go from helpless to the favorites of the title that lead to the tournament, he added.

The franchise boasts of having characters like Steve Smith, Ben stokes and Jofra Archer In their ranks Even so, their performance has been below par.

McDonald, 38, however believes there are multiple reasons for their under performance. "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."

McDonald has been a part of the IPL in the past having played for the Delhi Daredevils in the 2009 edition before being signed up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2012-2013. He was also the bowling coach of RCB.

Being a part of an IPL franchise before, the Australian - who played four Tests for Australia - believes it gives him an advantage.

"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 McDonald.

And so by playing in the IPL, it does give me the understanding of what all the players are going through, he added.

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