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Royal Chokers Bangalore

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Virat_Kohli_India_cricket_Royal_Challengers_Bangalore_RCB_IPLRoyal Challengers Bangalore are languishing at the bottom of the table after nine games, following their rout for 134 in their last game against Gujarat Lions. Sixteen points is the magic number teams in the IPL 2017 need to qualify for the playoff stage. With only 2 wins under the belt, Royal Challengers needed to do too much in the later stage of the tournament, where they had to win all of their last six matches to get there.

Royal Challengers Bangalore is a team that can choke at any point of time. Many cricket pundits said similar things after some disastrous performances by the RCB team. In the history of the IPL, RCB has choked many times in pressure situations. This season was no exception.  

Things are not falling in place for the star-studded side at the moment. Players like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Shane Watson, who can turn the game at any point of time, just failed to show their magic. Last year’s finalists are finding no route to get back to winning ways. This cost them early elimination from the tournament.

What went wrong?

RCB was almost impossible to beat in the IPL 2016. They lost their way in this year’s edition. The main reason behind their setback was the team line up. In the first five matches, RCB tried five different opening combinations which led to decline of their batting department.

Their batting, once their strength, now looks to be in awful shape, which is why it’s getting exposed by every other team. After 9 matches, not even a single batsman of RCB is in the top 10 of the leading run scorers.

Another issue that is troubling the Bangalore side is the bad run of their captain, Virat Kohli, who didn’t fire as of now in the tournament. Scoring almost 1000 runs last year, RCB was relying on their captain way too much. Their hopes were shattered when their top two most destructive batsmen, ABD and Virat Kohli were ruled out for initial stage of the IPL.

When Kohli returned, he began the season from where he left last year by scoring a scintillating half-century which indeed went in vain as the Mumbai Indians team thrashed them by 4 wickets. It was the match when Kohli and Samuel Badree stepped up that lit every RCB fans' eye but ended up losing the contest.  

After back to back defeats, Kohli said that they have to find a "winning formula" soon as they don't deserve to win with this kind of performances. RCB’s strength is now its weakness and is living up to the tag of “chokers.”

When compared with other teams, RCB players lack intent which was also accepted by their captain. In a match against KKR, falling short of words in explaining the stunning batting collapse his side suffered, Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli could only say that it was reckless and unacceptable batting. RCB were all out for 49, the lowest ever total recorded in IPL, and lost the match by a comprehensive 82-run margin while chasing 132. When asked about his dismissal the Indian captain said, “The sight-screen is very small here, one guy got up as the bowler was loading up, that distracted me. Still it wasn’t a big deal. That was just one down. Nine guys could have done the job.”

When it comes to RCB’s bowling, they got a big blow before the start of the IPL in the form of Mitchell Starc who ended his contract with the franchise on mutual understanding. Though they signed Tymal Mills for a whopping 12.5 crores at the auction, he also didn’t step up to show his magic and eventually was dropped from the side.

At the moment, RCB is the only team who is still finding the right combinations and looking disturbed. With only five games left, Virat and co. must pull their socks up to get going in the tournament, which is more like a formality now.

Road ahead

RCB, despite struggling badly and losing its Midas touch, should move back to basics and avoid too many experiments. Players like Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers should back themselves and play positive cricket without any extra pressure.

In one of his press conference, Kohli said, “We need to forget it and move forward. We're a much better team. You have to come out, show intent and back yourselves. We should not put extra pressure on us which we have been doing till now. We should enjoy in the ground as we did last year.”

After having such a bad run, it will be interesting to see how the team management responds in the upcoming matches and whether there is any change of fortunes for the RCB team.

 

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Yatin Singh is a graduate of Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, studied B.A (H) Journalism. Yatin,...

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