Dubai: A tournament can’t be won on a star player alone. Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore’s performance in the IPL is the most suitable example of this. Despite having some of the big names in world cricket, RCB have never been able to place their hands on the title.
Their performance has been a major abashment for fans and franchises over the past few years. Since Kohli was appointed as skipper in 2013, the RCB squad reached the final once in 2016 but ended at the bottom of the table twice in the three years. As always they start the tournament with huge expectations but end with having key issues that have provoked the team every time.
Over the years, Kohli had been in the pressure of international assignments. But this year might bring some changes as Kohli and his men were in rest for a few months due to the lockdown by coronavirus pandemic. With Mike Hesson as Director of Cricket and Operations and Simon Katich as head coach, Kohli will look to explore options from some of the beautiful local talents in the middle order. South African AB de Villiers may keep wickets.
Chris Morris may tide over the long-living bugbear of bowling at the death. Pacer Navdeep Saini’s international exploits, coupled with bigger stadiums in the UAE, may augur well for Kohli and his men in their bid for another shot at the elusive trophy.
Let’s have a look at RCB under Kohli,
2013: Kohli took over from Daniel Vettori but RCB failed to qualify for the playoffs despite Chris Gayle’s power-packed performance. Three defeats in their last five matches cost them a play-off place. Finished fifth.
2014: RCB won five games out of 14 games. Both Kohli and De Villiers flopped.
2015: They found a magic charm in time. De Villiers, Kohli and Gayle did the job with the bat, while Yuzvendra Chahal (23 wickets) was the standout performer with the ball. Lost to CSK in Qualifier 2. Finished third.
2016: They make an unusual comeback in the latter stages to make for the final. RCB’s title win against Sunrisers Hyderabad at M Chinnaswamy Stadium were undone by a stunning collapse. There were many positives from the season, including Kohli (973) emerging as the highest run-getter. Finished Runner’s up.
2017: A season to forget with just three wins. Finished last.
2018: Season of weird decisions, starting with questionable retention. Spent big on unutilized talent. The appointment of Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra as batting and bowling coaches respectively did not work. Finished in the sixth position.
2019: The franchise went in for a makeover, doing away with the concept of chief coach and replacing it with a non-pyramid coaching structure. They chopped and changed during the auction as well. But nothing worked as usual.