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IPL 2024: What's Going Wrong For RCB?

April 18, 2024 09:39 IST
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IMAGE: Will RCB finish without the IPL trophy for the 17th season in a row? Photographs: BCCI

Royal Challengers Bengaluru continue to be the biggest underachiever in the IPL.

A team which has been home to some of the biggest superstars -- Chris Gayle, A B de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Kevin Pietersen -- is yet to lay their hands on the IPL title.

RCB came close thrice when they finished runners up in 2009, 2011 and 2016, but in recent years they haven't looked like a team capable of winning the title.

Once again, RCB are on course to finish without a trophy after losing six out of their first seven games in IPL 2024.

Except for a miraculous turnaround, RCB look set to miss out on the play-offs for the second season in a row.

A look at why RCB have struggled in IPL 2024:

Overdependence on Kohli

IMAGE: Virat Kohli is the leading scorer in IPL 2024 at this stage, with 361 runs in seven games at a strike rate of 147.

It must be tough being Virat Kohli. He has given it his all for RCB over the years but the long wait for his first IPL title looks set to continue for another year at least.

It is no secret that RCB are heavily dependent on Kohli, who is scoring runs nearly every game but hasn't got the required support from the rest of the batters.

Kohli is the leading scorer in IPL 2024 as we approach the halfway stage, with 361 runs in seven games at a strike rate of 147, with a century and two fifties.

But his batting brilliance has come to nothing, as time and again this season, he has seen the bowlers crumble under pressure against strong batting line-ups.

Kohli's opening partnership with Faf du Plessis hasn't generated desired results either, with the duo's 125-run stand against Rajasthan Royals and 80-run stand against Sunrisers Hyderabad the only two noteable contributions in the first seven games.

Du Plessis rediscovered his form only recently, stroking half-centuries in the last two games after a difficult start to the tournament.

Dinesh Karthik has been a standout performer with the bat for RCB, excelling in his role as the finisher, smashing 226 runs at a strike rate of 205.

With Maxwell taking an indefinite break due to mental and physical fatigue, RCB's hopes of bouncing back have taken a further hit.

Failure of overseas stars

IMAGE: Glenn Maxwell has flopped big time with the bat in IPL 2024.

Glenn Maxwell has been a big disappointment for RCB this season. The Australian has managed just 32 runs in six innings, falling thrice for ducks.

Maxwell, who played a key role in Australia's ODI World Cup triumph a few months ago, has failed to reproduce that top form with the bat which has hurt RCB badly. And his pulling out of the IPL indefinitely will not make things easier for RCB.

Even the highly-rated Cameron Green has been a letdown with both bat and ball. Green, who was traded from the Mumbai Indians, has scored 68 runs while taking two wickets in five games at an economy rate of 9.40.

RCB's main strike bowler Mohammed Siraj has not delivered as well. After managing just four wickets in the first six games at an economy rate of 10.40, he was rested for the last match against SRH.

West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph, who was bought for Rs 11.5 crore (Rs 115 million) at the auction, has bagged just one wicket in three games at an economy rate of 11.89.

Absence of a good spinner

IMAGE: Can Captain Faf du Plessis and Head Coach Andy Flower get RCB back on track after a disastrous start?

Unlike the other teams, RCB have not been able to impose themselves at home. They have lost three of their four games played at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.

One big reason for their woeful showing at home has been the absence of a good spinner to counter the good batting pitches and short boundaries.

Part-time spinner Maxwell has been the top spinner for RCB this season with 4 wickets from six games at an economy rate of 8.44.

The other spin options which RCB have tried without much success are Will Jacks (1 wicket in 2 games), Mayank Dagar (1 wicket in 5 games), Karn Sharma (1 wicket in 1 game) along with Himanshu Sharma and Mahipal Lomror, who have both failed to take a wicket.

Confused auction strategy

IMAGE: RCB are struggling with their bowling attack in the absence of a world class spinner.

RCB's confused auction strategy has come back to haunt them big time.

RCB bolstered their pace attack during the IPL 2024 auction, signing four fast bowlers, including three overseas and one Indian, when the need of the hour was to sign a world class spinner.

Alzarri Joseph, Lockie Ferguson (Rs 2 crore/Rs 20 million), Tom Curran (Rs 1.5 crore/Rs 15 million), and Yash Dayal (Rs 5 crore/Rs 50 million) were bought for a combined Rs 20 crore/Rs 200 million.

Between them Dayal, Joseph and Ferguson have claimed eight wickets between while Curran is yet to feature in a game this season.

RCB have struggled to find a leading spinner since their shocking decision to release Yuzvendra Chahal ahead of IPL 2022, who is still their leading wicket-taker with 139 wickets in 113 games over eight seasons.

Why they didn't buy someone like England's experienced leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who went unsold at his base price of Rs 2 crore, will remain a mystery.

Paying a massive Rs 17.5 crores (Rs 175 million) for Cameron Green in a trade-off ahead of the auction hasn't yielded the desired results either.

With Rajat Patidar, Mahipal Lomror, Anuj Rawat and Saurav Chauhan not doing much with the bat, it has put a lot more pressure on senior batters Kohli, du Plessis and Karthik.

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