Cape Town:Bangalore Royal Challengers might have finished at the bottom of the table in the inaugural IPL last year, but all-rounder Jacques Kallis feels his side has what it takes to make it to the semifinals of the second edition of the ongoing Twenty20 event in South Africa.
The Vijay Mallaya-owned outfit started its second Indian Premier League campaign with a bang, stunning defending champions Rajasthan Royals in their opening match.
Notwithstanding their defeat in the second match against Chennai Super Kings, the Royal Challengers, tagged a Test team last year, looked a completely different side this time and Kallis credited the turnaround to coach Ray Jennings and new skipper Kevin Pietersen.
"I think the guys have learnt a lot from last year. The guys are a bit more experienced. And it's always nice when you start off well. I think Ray's done a magnificent job in getting the guys together. Kev's (Pietersen) obviously come in and worked on the guys as well. The guys are a happy unit now, which is what you need for a good side," Kallis said.
"I think we have got structure in place. Now the guys know their roles and what they are going to do. It's half the battle won in knowing our roles. None of us enjoyed what happened last year. We want to be competing as a top side and want to be in for the semifinals. We do not want to be at the bottom of the table," Kallis said.
Asked whether he felt hurt on being taunted as a member of the Test outfit last year, Kallis said, "No I don't think that hurt. What hurt was the way we played the cricket."
Kallis feels senior pros like Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and others, regarded as Test players, have already justified their worth in Twenty20 cricket in the first few matches of the ongoing tournament.
"I think players that are playing Test cricket are more than good enough to play Twenty20 cricket. That's been proven throughout the tournament. Certainly, in these conditions as well. Guys are coming in and playing freely. If you are playing Test cricket, you can play any form of the game. It has been proven," he said.
Kallis, who takes over captaincy from Pietersen midway through the tournament, added, "There is a lot of pride involved in this tournament. We all want to do well and make sure that Royal Challengers Bangalore make the semifinals. I wouldn't be playing if I don't think we can win the tournament," says Kallis.