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5 reasons why Kohli's RCB struggle

By Harish Kotian
Last updated on: April 04, 2019 09:10 IST
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Kohli and his boys have been all at sea against spin.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Royal Challengers Bangalore Captain Virat Kohli has had a nightmarish start to IPL-12. Photograph: BCCI

It has been a familiar scenario for Royal Challengers Bangalore this season.

Virat Kohli's team has finished on the losing side in RCB's first four games and going by their struggles so far, no one is giving them a chance to make it to the play-offs.

RCB endured the worst possible start to their IPL-12 campaign against Chennai Super Kings when they were shot out for 70 and things have only got worse since Game 1.

RCB's batting and bowling have been lacklustre; the fielding too has been poor with catches being put down.

Harish Kotian lists 5 reasons why RCB have struggled in IPL-12:


1. Over dependence on Virat Kohli and A B de Villiers

It is clear that RCB are excessively dependent on their batting stars.

If one or both fail, then RCB struggles to post a competitive total as was seen in the three games against the Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals.

Kohli is yet to going in the tournament, having scored 78 runs in 4 games with a best of 46.

De Villiers's only innings of note so far has been the 70 not out against the Mumbai Indians.

Parthiv Patel has been RCB's top run-getter so far this season, with 138 runs, including a quickfire 67 against the Rajasthan Royals.

2. Batsmen struggling against spin

IMAGE: Virat Kohli is bowled by Rajasthan Royals leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal. Photograph: BCCI

The RCB batsmen have struggled against spin.

In the tournament opener, they were bowled out for 70 on a turning track in Chennai to lose by 7 wickets. RCB batsmen were all at sea against the wiles of CSK veterans Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir, both of who took 3 wickets each.

Against the Mumbai Indians, RCB batsmen managed just 51 runs in 7 overs of spin on a good batting track.

Against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, chasing a mammoth 232 for victory, Afghan off-spinner Mohammad Nabi all but finished RCB's hopes in his first two overs, picking up three quick wickets.

Spin again proved RCB's bane against the Rajasthan Royals when leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal ran through the top order, including Kohli and de Villiers's key wickets.

3. Hetmyer and Dube fail to live up to expectations

IMAGE: Rajasthan Wicket-keeper Jos Buttler successfully appeals for caught behind against Shimron Hetmyer off Shreyas Gopal's bowling. Photograph: BCCI

RCB's two highest purchases at the IPL-12 auction -- Shivam Dube (Rs 5 crore) and Shimron Hetmyer (Rs 4.2 crore) -- have proved to be huge letdowns so far this season.

West Indian Hetmyer has looked all at sea against the spinners, scoring just 15 runs in 4 innings. Dube has managed 16 runs in 3 games.

4. No support spinner for Yuzvendra Chahal

Chahal has shone among the ruins for RCB with his consistent performances.

The leg-spinner has taken 8 wickets in 4 games at an impressive economy rate of 6.5.

But he has found no support from the other end with RCB not having another capable spinner in its line-up.

RCB have preferred part-timer Moeen Ali as the second spinner, chosen more for his all-round abilities than for his bowling.

5. RCB pacers have been below par

IMAGE: Royal Challengers Bangalore have lost their first four games. Photograph: BCCI

RCB's pace attack has been disappointing.

Senior pro Umesh Yadav was supposed to lead RCB's pace bowling attack, but he has been a big disappointment, going at over 8 runs per over while picking up just 2 wickets in the 4 games.

The others pacers -- Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini -- have struggled to contain the runs and also not picked up too many wickets.

The key to stopping any opposition in the IPL is taking early wickets, an area where RCB have been found wanting.

Kohli has relied on Chahal to make the breakthrough time and again.

Except for the CSK game when RCB bowlers took a couple of early wickets, in the other 3 games the wickets have been hard to come by.

Mumbai's openers put on 54 runs while the Sunrisers opening duo of Jonny Bairstow and David Warner had a huge opening stand of 185 runs.

Kings XI Punjab also started off well as Sam Curran and K L Rahul scored 60 runs for the opening wicket.

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