Four matches. Four defeats. Royal Challengers Bangalore have not had the best of time in their 2019 IPL campaign. In fact, the four-match losing streak is their worst-ever start to a season. The team’s batting looks short of fire-power and the bowling seems to be underperforming.
SAD REALITY OF RCB FANS ?? pic.twitter.com/18bARphe4p— Gourav Kholkar (@GouravKholkar) April 2, 2019
The feeling among the fans is obvious – “Another wasted year,” many would say. But if you have buckled under the never-ending RCB memes and are thinking that RCB are already out of the IPL 2019, think again.
Mumbai Indians’ epic turn-around and Why RCB can still win the IPL trophy:
Although it may be difficult, making it to the playoffs is not impossible at the moment. After all, who can forget the epic turn around that Mumbai Indians did in the 2015 season of the competition. Having lost the first four games, MI went on to not only qualify for the playoffs but also win the title.
Although many other things went into play, the two, most important things that helped Mumbai go the distance were – FAITH and MOMENTUM.
It was revealed later that after the first four matches had been lost, the players were told to treat each match as a final in every training huddle. This showed that the team still had faith in their capabilities irrespective of the results. Lasith Malinga again rediscovered his Midas with 140 km/h yorkers flowing again. Pollard not only elevated his form as a decisive finisher but also mentored a young prodigy by the name Hardik Pandya. The runs also started flowing from the skipper’s bat.
As they worked on their shortcomings and went on winning matches, the faith grew and so did the momentum. So much so that it culminated with the Mumbai Indians lifting the glittering IPL trophy. They were champions in the truest sense.
“To be honest, there was no game-changing instance for us. We did not have any instance like that. we knew the moment we would lose, we would be out of the tournament and we treated every game as a final, as it was our last game,” Rohit Sharma said in an interview after the 2015 triumph.
RCB can do exactly that. Have faith. Treat each match as a final. Win matches. Build momentum.
If Mumbai can go from losing five if their first six matches all the way to clinch the title, Royal Challengers Bangalore are very much capable of repeating the feat.
What should RCB do to break the ‘loss jinx’
Virat Kohli needs to come one down
The departure of Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum left a big void in the RCB’s opening slots. This resulted in Virat Kohli shifting to the opening slot, which, frankly, wasn’t a good idea. For the national setup, the 29-year-old managed to score only 161 runs from the 6 times that he has played in that spot.
This season as well, Kohli has only managed 78 runs in four matches (@ average of 19.50), further rebuffing the claim.
So, it is clear that Virat Kohli needs to shift one place down. AB de Villiers or Moeen Ali can open the match besides Parthiv Patel.
2. Shuffle Bowling
Apart from their wrongdoings in the batting, RCB is also struggling to scalp wickets. Umesh Yadav has not been in good form and Navdeep Saini has yet to pick up a wicket. RCB should, thus, try to shuffle their bowling attack a bit.
Washington Sundar, who had 12-wickets in the last season, can be handed a chance. Moeen Ali could be replaced with Tim Southee or Nathan Coulter-Nile. The baseline is to try different combinations of players to find the best XI.
3. Using the World Cup for elevating performance in IPL
Without a doubt, the performances in IPL are going to be judged upon by the National selectors while drafting in a team for the upcoming ICC World Cup. RCB can use this premise to boost the performances of their players.
For example, Moeen Ali’s place in England’s starting XI has been thrown into disarray by Sam Curran, who has been brilliant in IPL this season. While Ali has only one wicket to his name, Curran has managed 6 wickets, including a hat-trick. If positively channelized by RCB, World Cup can indeed bring out the best of Moeen Ali and other foreign and Indian players.
4. Create a Winning atmosphere
A crucial factor in Mumbai Indians’ 2015 victory was the way they created a conductive and winning mentality during what was otherwise a difficult phase. Ricky Ponting revealed in an interview how he would lead the entire support staff onto the field to pat the backs and joke around the MI players to tell them that they were doing nothing wrong.
The coach’s philosophy of bonding together, of keeping a light head and adapting when required was Mumbai’s hallmark in the 2015 season. Both Rohit and Ponting equally deserve credit for creating a conducive atmosphere where every player possesses a winning mentality and plays to come at the top at all costs.
Virat Kohli and Co. would have to develop a conducive environment of their own and sustain it until the end.
5. Improve Fielding
In the match against Rajasthan Royals, RCB had a fair chance of winning had their fielders not dropped vital catches. Jos Buttler (69), Steven Smith (38), and Rahul Tripathi (34), who hit the winning runs, all were dropped at a crucial juncture of time in the tight match. Catches make matches, they say, and RCB have to quickly shore up their fielding if they are to make headway in the league.
We would love to hear from you on how RCB can get themselves back to winning ways? Tell us in the comment section below.