RCB’s Dilemma: Can the Kohli-led squad still win the IPL 2023?
Match 36 of IPL 2023 recently wrapped up, and it was another disappointment for RCB. The team lost the cricket match by 21 runs despite Kohli scoring a half-century.
The game started with RCB winning the toss and, as expected, choosing to bowl first. The plan did not work as Jason Roy blasted their bowling attack to score 56 in 29 balls.
Although the batsman did not get much support from the other end, Roy still helped KKR start on a good note. Kolkata reached 200 for 5 in 20 overs, thanks to Nitish Rana’s late-game heroics of 48 for 21.
In reply, RCB started aggressively, with Kohli and Faf punishing the bowlers. The captain, Kohli, continued to pressure KKR despite Faf getting out for 17 off 7 balls. However, after Maxwell got out for only 5 runs, the gaping hole in the team started showing.
Kohli also got out for 54 off 37 after Iyer took a blinder on the ropes. Mahipal Lomror and Dinesh Karthik tried to save the cricket match but could only reach 179 for 8 in 20 overs.
RCB’s reliance on top-order batting
The pattern showcased against KKR has been a trend for the Royal Challengers Bangalore for several years. The team always boasts an explosive batting lineup with Chris Gayle, Ab de Villers, Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis, and Glenn Maxwell. However, they still fail to produce a convincing league performance.
The pattern seems to be repeating as Kohli, Maxwell, and Faf have been firing on all cylinders for the team. The trio has amassed over 1,000 runs for the team, the highest any trio has in IPL 2023.
Even better, Faf and Kohli are the two most run-scoring batsmen in IPL 2023. The duo competes for the Orange Cap with 422 and 333 runs, respectively. Every fantasy player picks one of these two as their captain on the best cricket betting sites. Despite all this, the team stands in 5th position with 4 wins and 4 losses.
The apparent reason behind this is a lack of support in the middle order. Besides Faf at 422, Kohli at 333, and Laxwell at 258, RCB’s best scorer is Dinesh Karthik, with 83 runs. The player is number 6 in most games, showing the weakness in RCB’s middle order.
Surprisingly, the team also leads in the Purple Cap race, with Mohammed Siraj securing 14 wickets. The pacer has been assisted by Harshal Patel, who has gotten 10 wickets in some crucial final overs.
How RCB can balance its team composition
It is evident by stats alone that RCB boasts some of the best batsmen and bowlers in the competition. A team with the Orange and Purple Cap trailing on number 5 is rare in IPL.
That is why the team needs to start investing in local talent. The importance of local stars has become evident in how IPL has begun to shape up. Every team has 1-2 players hailing from the local region.
This improves home crowd support and provides an edge in terms of pitch knowledge and experience. One thing RCB can do is look for a reliable middle-order batsman who can assist Maxwell in the middle overs, offering a decent setup to Dinesh Karthik to end the game.
Another asset the team needs is a wicket-taking spinner, preferably a leg spinner. Almost every team in IPL 2023 has a mystery or leg spinner capable of taking wickets in the middle overs.
RCB relies on Karwanindu Hasaranga in the middle overs, but the player has not produced many results. Instead, they could bring back Karn Sharma, who has done well for the team in previous seasons.
RCB’s disappointing performances in recent IPLs
It’s been a while since the RCB fans got to cheer for them in the semi-finals. In 16 IPL seasons, the team has only reached the finals thrice, losing all three of them.
RCB’s most recent venture in the finals came way back in 2016, a whopping 7 seasons ago. Thus, the disappointment of the fans is warranted.
Can RCB win IPL 2023?
The only way RCB can enter this IPL cricket season’s playoffs and win is by trying new options. The team has followed the same pattern for multiple IPLs with no success.
Does RCB pack the potential to win a cricket match against any IPL team? Yes, they do. RCB is one of the, if not the most potent, teams in the competition. That is why they need to try one of these options:
- Entirely focused on the top three batsmen performing their best
- Give local talent a chance to open with Faf, pushing Kohli to number 3
- Get a wicket-taking spinner for the middle overs
If the team can secure its middle overs, it can accelerate with hitters like Maxwell and Karthik in the final segment. As for the bowling attack, Siraj can restrict any batting lineup during the powerplay.
A pair of spinners can work on the middle overs, while Harshal Patel can put a deadlock in the final overs.