Before the start of the season, RCB were not the worst squad on papers, and nobody had predicted this outcome for them
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are out of the race for the playoff in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2019). It was a season to forget for the Bangalore side and their fans, in more than one way. They are at the bottom of the table and will end the season as the worst team in terms of points.
Before the start of the season, RCB were not the worst squad on papers, and nobody had predicted this outcome for them. But, it all went wrong, and now they have become the first team to get out of the race for playoffs.
Let's have a look at the reasons behind RCB's forgetful season.
1) Slow batting in the middle overs
As a batting unit, RCB is overly-dependent on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. In IPL 2019, Virat and De Villiers batted, mostly, in top 3 and whenever there was an early collapse, the middle order struggled to do the job, more often than not. The young and inexperienced middle order batsmen of RCB failed to capitalise on good starts, and this resulted in 15-20 run shortage in some very crucial matches.
RCB also tried many different combinations and made many changes in the batting order, but nothing worked for them. They needed a young Indian aggressive batsman in the middle order like Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson or Nitish Rana at number 4 or 5 position, to play the role of an aggressor after a good start and take calculated risks to counter-attack in case of early wickets.
2) The worst fielding side
Virat Kohli is one of the best fielders in world cricket, and you expect good fielding from the team he leads. But, in IPL 2019, RCB is the worst fielding side. RCB fielders have dropped the most number of catches, and surprisingly, Virat Kohli has dropped four catches in IPL 2019, with one more match to go in the tournament.
These days, a lot of importance is given to fielding, especially in T20 cricket and no team can do well if it drops more than 20 catches, as RCB did in IPL 2019.
3) Performance in death overs
In matches, RCB batsmen stood up and posted above par totals. They were let down by their bowling unit, especially in the death overs. RCB missed a death over specialist as Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Pawan Negi, Mohammad Siraj, and others were taken to cleaners, more often than not.
Young Navdeep Saini showed good skills and pace, but his inexperience proved costly for RCB in some of the matches. Yuzvendra Chahal, with 17 wickets to his name after 13 matches, is the only RCB bowler among the top 20 wicket takers of IPL 2019.
4) Other players seem to be in awe of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers
Throughout the season, in every match, all the focus was only on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. It's true that these two are great cricketers and have done very well for RCB in the past, but cricket is a team game, and this is why despite many good performances from the two, RCB finished at last.
When the game revolves majorly around two players, it becomes tough for the coaching staff and the captain himself, to define roles of other players clearly and this results in a lot of changes in the team and also in the batting order.
Key areas of improvement for RCB
1) Death over specialists
RCB need to invest on good death over specialists in the next IPL auction because these are the bowlers who win or lose matches for the team. Chinnaswamy Stadium is a difficult venue to defend and to win matches there, RCB needs bowlers who can bowl effectively in the last 4-5 overs of the innings and restrict opposition batters.
2) Enforcer at number 4
RCB need to invest in young Indian batsman who can play at number 4 position in their batting order. This year, they invested heavily on Shivam Dubey, who turned out to be a big disappointment. RCB's think-tank needs to be more careful while bidding for uncapped players and go for established names, who have done well at least at a domestic level.
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Last Updated May 2, 2019, 3:10 PM IST