IPL 2019: Royal Challengers Bangalore Season Review

Cricket May 7, 2019
Royal Challengers Bangalore endured yet another disappointing season. Image: BCCI

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IPL 2019: Royal Challengers Bangalore Season Review

The Royal Challengers Bangalore endured a similar arduous fate this season too, as they made it incredibly difficult for themselves to qualify for the playoffs after losing the first six matches in the row.  Though they eventually missed the top-four race only by a single point, it was quite apparent in the first half of the season that their wheels had worn off, no matter what they did to recover back in the latter stages of the tournament.

There were some major tactical blunders, fragility in the bowling lineup and overdependence on their two stalwarts throughout the course of the tournament; negative factors that the Royal Challengers Bangalore side aren’t immune to over the years.

Saini has been one of the finds of the season. Image: Sportzpics
                              Saini has been one of the finds of the season. Image: Sportzpics

Find of the season:

Two of them could make this list, actually. Navdeep Saini provided glimpses of why he might possibly be the most exciting fast-bowling prospect waiting in the wings of the national team. Saini consistently clocked at around 145kmph, maintaining a tight line and introduced some of his tricky variations as the tournament progressed.

Saini seems like an all-around pacer, who has the natural tendency and ability to bowl quick through the air, into the batsman. He notched 11 wickets in 13 matches at an economy rate of 8.27, and though the stats might not be very eye-catching, he still managed to make the batsmen toil hard to score runs off him by bowling a hard length with the new ball.

Moreover, Shimron Hetmyer was unfairly treated by the team management after an initial string of failures, as he was dropped for a long time after just four matches. The team at times played with only three foreigners, deciding against playing the charismatic young lad from the Caribbean. When he finally got another opportunity in the final game of the tournament, Hetmyer scored 75 runs in the chase to defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad, something that just showed how lethal and useful he could have been if not for that unfair sack of sorts that he received right after a few games.

Kohli had another good season for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Image: BCCI
                 Kohli had another good season for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Image: BCCI

Hits:

Virat Kohli and Ab de Villiers might not have been at their consistent best during the full stretch, they still churned out the runs at regular intervals to help out their side. The duo scored 464 and 442 runs respectively, and though Kohli might have had more runs to his name, de Villiers’ innings carried the greater impact of sorts.

Yuzvendra Chahal once again led the bowling attack with aplomb for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, notching 18 wickets at an economy rate of 7.82 despite bowling the more difficult overs at times.  He was probably Bangalore’s sole wicket-taking option at times, and he assumed that responsibility to utmost perfection.

Umesh Yadav had a disappointing season. Image: BCCI
                                        Umesh Yadav had a disappointing season. Image: BCCI

Misses:

Tim Southee and Umesh Yadav failed to carry out their responsibilities of leading the bowling attack for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both of them looked inept of ideas and especially failed at executing the required deliveries in certain delicate situations during the match.  The mere fact that Kohli did not have a reliable bowler to fall back of if either Chahal or Saini were taken to cleaners demonstrates the fact that their side definitely lacked someone who could lead the bowling unit at the start and the end too.

Dale Steyn’s short yet impactful cameo midway through the tournament increased some hopes amongst the Bengaluru faithful, but even Steyn had to return due to a recurrent shoulder issue. Like all other years, their inability to find a proper leader of the bowling attack had a major part to play in their eventual position in the league table too.

Best Performance:

Virat Kohli’s century against Kolkata Knight Riders was a class act, as the captain broke shackles that surrounded his performances until then in the tournament. The captain paced his innings to perfection, taking on the whole Knight Riders’ attack in the last five overs of the match. That was one match where Kohli had taken complete control over the proceedings, with Moeen Ali helping him out equally well whilst they inflicted more pain upon an already depleted Kolkata unit.

For the second year in a row,Gary Kirsten has failed to take Bangalore to the playoffs. Image: BCCI
    For the second year in a row, Gary Kirsten has failed to take Bangalore to the playoffs. Image: BCCI

Way Forward for Royal Challengers Bangalore :

Now, this is a very interesting segment to look out for. Gary Kirsten suggested that the team required some structural changes, the details of which he obviously didn’t speak about during the presser. However, they most probably need to invest in both their bowling and batting, probably lure more formidable Indian talents to build a strong core for the team.

The overdependence on the duo of Kohli and de Villiers needs to ward off, and whether Kirsten and his coaching staff are successful in doing that remains to be seen. The team might look for a mini-overhaul of sorts’ maybe, but they have already done so quite a lot of times in the past but to no avail. Their prospects regarding the future are something quite blurred, yet a tad bit exciting at the same time.

 

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