Royal Challengers Bangalore ended up with the wooden spoon in the 10th Season of the IPL after a series of shambolic performances. We rate the player and the team’s performances.
RCB PERFORMANCE REVIEW
The team from Karnataka captained by Indian captain Virat Kohli was considered one of the favourites to qualify for the final stages before the tournament. On paper they looked to be one of the stronger sides in the tournament with a balanced team but failed to put in decent performances. With 7 points in 14 matches and just 3 wins they finished bottom of the pile, a disappointing season to say the least.
Auction Performance Rating: B
At the auctions the Bangalore Franchise did quite well. They went for a spin-bowling all-rounder in Pawan Negi who was sold at Rs 8.50 crore to Delhi Daredevils last year stealing him for just Rs 1 crore. With the absence of Mitchell Starc due to injury, Royal Challengers bought another left arm pacer in Tymal Mills from England for a whopping Rs 12 crore.
They also went for 2 young Indian players in left arm quick Aniket Choudhary and leg-spinning all-rounder Praveen Dubey. Billy Stanlake, the pacer from Australia also went to Bangalore. With enough firepower in their batting, this year RCB decided not to buy any specialist batsman. After the auctions, the squad looked quite balanced and looked competitive enough to put in an excellent performance. One small thing they’ll regret is the fact that they didn’t go for an experienced star bowler.
Batting Performance Rating: D
The star-studded batting line-up of Royal Challengers Bangalore was in shambles this IPL season scoring at just around 19 runs per wicket with two scores under 100 including the lowest score of IPL, an embarrassing 49 all-out against KKR. The rating is not worse because of a few high scores in the middle where the batting lineup had rare good outings. The pitch in the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, RCB’s home ground being slower and lower this year maybe a reason as scoring was difficult. The average first Innings IPL score at this ground which was around 190 after last year’s edition has decreased to just 168.
Most of the batsmen in this batting lineup like the ball coming onto the bat with true bounce and have been used to that in the Chinnaswamy pitch but a change in it’s characteristics has made them struggle and before they could get used to it they had lost 3 games in their home. The average run-rate being just around 7.5 and average strike rate of 126 for Bangalore this season tells us loads about their batting this season. Virat Kohli is the only player for RCB who has more than 300 runs this year.
Bowling and Fielding Performance Rating: C
The bowling and fielding has been decent for RCB this year as a whole but there have been some poor display in both these occasionally. At the first match of the tournament itself Yuvraj Singh was dropped quite early and went on to score 62 runs with a strike more than 200 guiding SRH to a huge total. The bowling has been good to start with but a few bad overs have changed the course of the matches consistentently against them in this season of the IPL. The average runs per over against them is about 8.4 and the average runs per wicket is about 26. On the fielding aspect there have been some incredible catches lead by Virat Kohli’s one hander to his left and fielding efforts by Bangalore this year let down by careless dropped catches and misfields.
With the pitch being slower than usual one can’t help but feel Tymal Mills was underutilized. Bought for 12 crore at the auctions the English quick bangs on the wicket with his deliveries and has an incredibly deceptive slower ball. His wicket-taking ability was missed by RCB in some matches. He should’ve played more considering the extent the franchise went to buy him.
Pawan Negi: Rating A
Easily the best player for the Royal Challengers this season, Pawan Negi has done his job as a bowling all-rounder to perfection. With the bat he has scored much needed runs lower down the order and has upped the ante in some matches getting 144 runs at an average of 18 with a strike rate of 129.72. The left arm orthodox bowler has been very accurate this season tightening it up in the middle overs and has taken much needed wickets. In 12 matches he played for RCB this year he has picked up 16 wickets with an impressive average of 12.37, strike rate of 12 and an excellent economy rate of 6.12. He also has 3 catches under his name.
Travis Head: Rating B
The 23 year old left hander from Australia has proved his worth in the few opportunities he got. He has been featured ahead of Virat Kohli here because of just one reason. Kohli has raised the bar of expectations so much with scintillating performances in the recent past that 308 runs at an average of 30.80 with a strike rate of 122.2 is sub-par for him.
Coming back to Head, he is an incredible striker of the ball and has got 3 scores of 30 and above in 7 matches lead by a magnificent 75 not out against KKR in Bangalore. He has got 151 runs runs at an average of 30.20 with a strikerate of 139.81. He has been a live wire in the field too grabbing 2 catches including a marvelous catch at the boundary line.
Chris Gayle: Rating C
The big hitting West Indian opener has been below par for most of this season except a few matches. He has got 200 runs at an average of 22.22 with a strike rate of 122.69. The average is almost the same as last year but his strike rate has fallen by nearly 30 and that means he wasn’t as effective as last time.
Considering his past performances he has been nowhere near his best this season, similarly Kohli he has raised expectations and that’s why the numbers are disappointing.
Shane Watson: Rating F
Trusted with the captaincy in Virat Kohli’s absence at the start of this year’s IPL, the all-rounder has had an appalling season as a whole. With the bat he had his worst season in the IPL yet scoring a paltry 71 runs in 7 innings at an average of 11.89 striking at just 91.02.
He wasn’t convincing with the ball either picking up just 5 wickets in 8 matches at an average of 49 with an economy rate of 9.13 and a strike rate of 32.20. Some of Watson’s decisons and bowling changes as captain were also questionable. He has most probably played his last game for RCB.
Royal Challengers Bangalore certainly missed the services of Australian pacer Mitchell Starc due to injury. He has it all searing pace and a nice swing combined with the inch perfect yorkers, deadly bouncers and good slower deliveries.
Above it all his knack for picking up crucial wickets was sorely missed by RCB. In the IPL so far Starc, in 26 innings has picked up 34 wickets at an average of 20.36, strike rate of 17.06 with a very good economy rate of 7.17.
The batsman from Karnataka has been a consistent performer in the IPL so far and has all the shots. He too was ruled out of the tournament with an injury. With the batting woes RCB have had this season he would’ve been a much needed addition.
He has been excellent against both spinners and pacers and has proved he can bat in surfaces which are difficult to score in many times. In the IPL so far Rahul has scored 725 runs in 30 innings at an average of 30.21 with a strike rate of 125.65.
To summarize, even with the big names, a balanced squad on paper and the reputations of individuals RCB as a unit have failed to perform.