Another season and it was another disappointment for Royal Challengers Bangalore in terms of their drought in the trophy cabinet in Indian Premier League. November 6 marked the end of the road for Virat Kohli’s RCB in IPL 2020 after a mixed season, with the franchise reaching the Playoffs after 2016. Also Read - Australia vs India ODI in Sydney: Predicted Playing XIs, Pitch Report, Toss Timing, Squads, Weather Forecast For 1st ODI
RCB suffered a heartbreaking 6-wicket defeat against David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad in a last-over thriller. The Bangalore franchise failed to put up a strong show with the bat in the eliminator and was restricted to just 131/7. AB de Villiers. the lone fighter with the bat, scored 56 off 43 balls to guide his team to a respectable total on the scoreboard. Meanwhile, the RCB bowlers, who faced scrutiny from the past few years, put up a solid show and took match to the last over. Mohammed Siraj sent the SRH openers back into the hut to set the tone for a nail-biting match. But it was New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson who snatched the victory away for the Orange Army with a fighting half-century. Also Read - India vs Australia 1st ODI 2020: Virat Kohli Admits Lack of Clarity Over Rohit Sharma's Injury, Questions ICC's WTC Points System
But it was not the first game where RCB unit stalled to put up a show as it was their fifth successive defeat in the tournament. After having a decent start to the season, RCB started to lose their way in the middle of it and ended up with no steam left. Also Read - India vs Australia 2020 ODI: IND, AUS Players to Wear Black Armbands During 1st ODI in Honour of Dean Jones
Things that went wrong for RCB this season
The RCB franchise has heavily relied on two of the greatest batsmen of the modern era – Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, from the past many years and the things didn’t change in 2020 too. Devdutt Padikkal is the only batsman, which can be pointed out apart from the duo, who actually showed some character with the bat. The young southpaw was the leading run-scorer for RCB this season with 473 runs in 15 games. But apart from him, no other batsman provide solid assistance to Kohli and ABD.
Kohli, himself had an underwhelming season according to his standards, as the skipper scored 466 runs in 15 games. The biggest flaw in Kohli’s game this season was his inefficiency to accelerate the innings, as he had a strike rate of 121.35. The Run-Machine got off to some decent starts in the tournament, but when the time came to put up a foot on the accelerator, he failed and threw his wicket away on several occasions.
With Kohli’s constant failures to finish the innings, the pressure automatically tumbled on ABD’s shoulders, which he tried to emulate most of the time. Mr 360 won the match for RCB from crunch situations in a couple of occasions. He snatched away victories from Rajasthan Royals in the Match 33 of the league with an unbeaten knock of 22-ball 55. The flamboyant batsman finished the game for RCB many a time but the 2020 edition again hinted that the team needed a specialist finisher apart from ABD. Not because the former South Africa skipper is incapable of that, but it’s for the betterment for the balance of the squad.
Players like Aaron Finch, Shivam Dube and Josh Philippe failed to live up to expectations in the seasons, which put extra pressure on Kohli and ABD in the middle to pull the team on their shoulders.
Things that worked in RCB’s favour this season
RCB and decent bowling were like a broken pair in past few seasons but it got repaired in 2020. The team which was famous for his batting supremacy turned into a bowling powerhouse in IPL 13. With Yuzvendra Chahal leading the pack, RCB even put up a fight while defending 132 in the eliminator clash against SRH.
Chahal picked 21 wickets for RCB in 15 games at an economy of just 7.08. Being a go through man for skipper Kohli, the leg-spinner provided wicket for RCB in the crucial junction of the game. Apart from Chahal, Chris Morris also turned out to be a match-winner for them with the ball, as he got 11 scalps in 9 matches, but injury played spoilsport in his season’s journey. The lanky pacer was also forced out of the crucial eliminator clash due to quadriceps injury.
Meanwhile, it was a breakthrough season for Mohammed Siraj, who had an average start to the tournament, but as the time progressed he brought his A-game to the table and it was all started against Kolkata Knight Riders, where he ended up with the bowling figure of 3/8, which included two back-to-back maiden overs. Siraj ended the season with 11 wickets in 9 games, but it was more of a captain’s fault to not use him properly with the new ball in few games. The 26-year-old pacer, whose natural variation is out-swing, was asked to bowl sometimes after powerplay overs, where he was least affected.
Things RCB need to do in future
It’s time for RCB to look beyond Kohli and De Villiers, as after successive failures throughout the years, it’s pretty evident that they need more than some individual brilliance to get their hands on the coveted trophy. They need to offload players like Umesh Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Maan from the squad to make way for players which they need for some suitable roles.