How RCB have turned a corner in IPL 2020 for the right reasons
The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have been the perennial under-achievers of the IPL. Despite possessing an array of stars in their armory, they have remained largely in the second half of the table, leaving many experts perplexed and many predictors with palms on their faces.
But just like how everything in 2020 has been strange, the RCB have also gotten off the blocks in the IPL this year, winning five out of the first seven matches.
Here is an analysis over what has worked for them and what has not:
What have they got right?
The combination. This is a word that pundits have not associated with the Royal Challengers Bangalore for many a season. Constant chopping and changing over the years resulted in a lack of core that the franchise were looking for to make them a winning side.
However, this season an Indian core, consisting of players like Devdutt Padikkal, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal have been persisted with and they have delivered right through the first half of the competition.
Most pundits who watch and analyze T20 cricket believe that the format demands six bowling options to succeed. In the previous match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, RCB had seven options. In the past, Kohli and co. have rarely managed to put together a potent bowling unit, capable of challenging the best oppositions.
Not only is this unit delivering consistently for the franchise, but there is also depth in the starting XI to look at, as and when they are needed to bowl. It is a feature that has been rare for RCB for a very long time and suddenly, with so many options under their belt, they look competitive against any team in the competition.
What they have to get right in the second half?
Middle-order batting. The top-order for RCB have been superb in the tournament so far. But, moving forward in the competition, the think-tank must look to find a way by which players like Sundar, Shivam Dube, Gurkeerat Singh Mann and others, who come after AB de Villiers are given batting time.
It would mean that on one odd day, if RCB suffer a top-order collapse, then these players won’t be caught wanting for game time.
How can they prevent a collapse in performance in the second half?
The recent editions of the IPL have shown that teams have begun well in the first half, but have not carried that momentum in the second half. Whether they were found out, got complacent or any other factor, the consistency in their performances have dipped.
That is a threat RCB must be wary of. To not fall off the cliff they have worked so hard climbing and undo the good work everyone has put in.
The odds across various betting sites have already swayed in RCB’s favor, and if they keep up the good work it could very well remain that way all the way throughout the tournament.
To ensure that does not happen, they have kept their side consistent. Their core is set, they no longer seem dependent on a single player for their success and there is an underline confidence in the way they got about their business.
If they maintain this and everything else, then at the end of the second half they will have silverware as their reward.