Royal Challengers Bangalore had yet another disappointing season as they won seven out of 14 matches and finished in sixth place in the points tally. While they had a promising start by winning four out of their first seven games, their performance faltered in the subsequent matches, with only three wins in the next six encounters.
In their final match against the Gujarat Titans, RCB needed a victory to qualify for the playoffs. They posted a formidable total of 197 runs for the loss of five wickets in their allotted 20 overs, courtesy of a brilliant century by Virat Kohli, his second of the season. However, the defending champions, Gujarat Titans, chased down the target with six wickets in hand and 5 balls to spare in a thrilling encounter that ultimately ended RCB’s campaign on a disappointing note.
RCB had a streak of three consecutive playoff qualifications until the previous season. Despite reaching the final three times in the past, they have been unable to secure a victory on each occasion. Throughout the history of the Indian Premier League, RCB have established themselves as one of the most beloved teams.
However, they have faced their fair share of challenges every season, ultimately hindering their quest for the title every year. In this article, we will delve into some of the reasons behind the shortcomings faced by the Faf du Plessis-led side in the current season.
1. KGF Stand Out While Others Falter
RCB have consistently been known for their strong batting lineup, and they have made strategic moves during the auction to acquire some of the biggest names in the game. This season, their squad boasted the likes of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, and Faf du Plessis.
The trio carried the bulk of the team’s batting responsibilities and shouldered the entire workload. Together, they accounted for nearly 75% of the team’s total runs. Faf du Plessis led the charge with an impressive tally of 730 runs, followed closely by Kohli with 639 runs, and Maxwell contributing 400 runs. The fourth-highest run-scorer on the team was Dinesh Karthik, who accumulated 140 runs in 13 innings at a strike rate of 134.61.
2. RCB’s Quest for a Consistent Indian Run-Scorer Continues
During the previous season, RCB had the promising batsman Rajat Patidar in their middle order. Patidar made an impressive impact, scoring 333 runs in just eight games, averaging 55.5 with a strike rate of 152.75. He displayed his talent by achieving one century and two half-centuries. RCB had high hopes for Patidar to play a crucial role in the middle order, but unfortunately, he was sidelined from the tournament due to an Achilles Heel injury. RCB faced challenges finding an adequate replacement for him and eventually included Vijaykumar Vyshak in the squad as Patidar’s substitute. RCB’s longstanding challenge of finding a consistent Indian run-scorer persisted yet again this season. Virat Kohli leads the pack, who has amassed an impressive 7,263 runs in 237 games for RCB, maintaining an average of 37.24. Following him is Rahul Dravid, who recorded 898 runs during his three-year tenure with the team at the inception of the tournament. Surprisingly, no Indian batter has yet surpassed the 1,000-run milestone for RCB.
3. RCB Struggled to Find a Finisher: Poor Death Over Run Rate Hindered the Campaign
RCB faced significant challenges in their middle order, lacking both reliable batters and effective finishers. Dinesh Karthik played a crucial finishing role last season, amassing 330 runs in 16 games with an impressive strike rate of 183.33. However, Karthik’s performance took a dip this season as he managed only 140 runs with a reduced strike rate of 134.62. RCB struggled to score runs in the death overs, with a run rate of 10.11, the second-lowest among all ten teams. Surprisingly, no RCB batter crossed the 100-run mark in the death overs this season. Karthik emerged as the top scorer in this phase, contributing 82 runs at a strike rate of 160.78. In comparison, Karthik achieved 242 runs last year at a phenomenal strike rate of 220. Despite their challenges, RCB displayed strength in the PowerPlay overs, maintaining a run rate of 9.25, which was the second-best among all teams. Additionally, they showcased a decent record in the middle overs, scoring runs at a run rate of 8.75, ranking third-highest among all teams. Overall, RCB’s inability to find reliable middle-order batters and finishers, coupled with a lackluster death over run rate, posed significant hurdles for their success in the tournament.
4. Mohammed Siraj Shined, While RCB Bowlers Faced Challenges in Different Phases
Mohammed Siraj had a remarkable season, emerging as a standout performer for RCB by claiming 19 wickets in 14 games. With an average of 19.73, an economy rate of 7.5, and an impressive strike rate of 15.78, Siraj proved to be a force to be reckoned with. This season marked a significant milestone for him, as he surpassed his previous record of 11 wickets in a single season since his debut in 2017. Unfortunately, RCB struggled to find bowlers who could replicate Siraj’s impact. Only two other bowlers managed to secure ten or more wickets throughout the season. This lack of support posed a challenge for the team, especially in the death overs, where RCB’s bowlers struggled to contain the run flow. With an economy rate of 11.43 in the death overs, they ranked third-highest among all ten teams. A similar story unfolded in the middle overs, where RCB’s bowlers conceded runs at an economy rate of 9.62, the highest among all teams. However, the narrative shifted when it came to PowerPlay. RCB’s bowlers displayed a commendable performance during this phase, conceding runs at an economy rate of 7.78, which stood as the second-lowest among all teams. While Mohammed Siraj stood out with his exceptional performance, RCB’s bowlers encountered challenges in different phases of the game. Improvements in their performance during the death and middle overs will be crucial for the team’s success in future seasons.
Overall, RCB’s disappointing season can be attributed to their heavy reliance on a few key players, the lack of a consistent Indian run-scorer, difficulties in the middle order and finishing, and inconsistent bowling performances. Addressing these areas of concern will be essential for RCB to bounce back and compete strongly next season.