3 things Royal Challengers Bangalore need to do to win the IPL
Perennial underachievers Royal Challengers Bangalore, a franchise studded with heavyweight cricketers, somehow manages to fall short of the finishing line in every edition of the cash-rich Indian Premier League. Spearheaded by the Indian captain Virat Kohli, the current squad comprises of stalwarts like AB de Villiers, Kiwi legend Brendon McCullum alongside talented youngsters like Navdeep Saini and Kulwant Khejroliya. Since the inception of the showpiece tournament, RCB have never been able to lift the coveted prize.
With the developments already underway for the tournament, let us look at three specific things RCB should do to end their title drought.
#1 Rope in specialist T20 bowlers
Bowling in the death overs has been RCB’s Achilles heel since forever. Previously, on numerous occasions, RCB have let the opposition batsman comfortably chase mighty targets of 180-200, thanks to their ridiculous bowling performances. While the raw pace of Siraj proved miserably ineffective, even the likes of experienced Umesh Yadav and veteran Tim Southee failed to put the brakes on the scoring rate, leaking bucketloads of runs throughout the campaign.
It is high time the think-tank of the franchise explores competent alternatives to the unsuccessful current lot of bowlers, barring Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal. Trading in specialist operators like gangly left-arm pacer Harry Gurney, off-spinner Chris Green or leggie Fawad Ahmed can definitely strengthen the fragile bowling unit.
#2 Sticking to a playing eleven
In desperate quest of the IPL trophy, the RCB management needs to back the chosen individuals to deliver to their potential, instead of chopping and changing the playing eleven too often. In the previous edition, RCB invested heavily in domestic cricketers like Akshdeep Nath, Shivam Dubey, Gurkeerat Maan and Prayas Ray Burman but the youngsters were not provided with enough opportunities to showcase their prowess.
Skipper Virat can take a leaf out of legendary MS Dhoni's book, who firmly believes in the theory of backing his team members, rather than eventually dropping them following a couple of failures. CSK's grand accomplishments in the tournament are a testimony to Dhoni's thought process. The keeper-batsman continued to support dynamic batsman Shane Watson despite repeated failures in IPL 2018. Repaying the faith, the Australian produced a whirlwind century in the ultimate decider, guiding CSK to a third IPL title.
Each player needs a sense of security to thrive amidst the tremendous pressure that IPL brings to the table. If RCB can rigidly stick to a playing eleven from the very beginning with minimal changes throughout, the confident players will be encouraged to express themselves without any unnecessary burden.
#3 Improve fielding standards
Catches win matches. In a game of such tiny margins, one missed chance is deplorable and hence teams need to ensure their fielding is at their supreme best. Crucial drops at important moments often change the entire course of the match. RCB were extremely sloppy in the field during the IPL 2019 edition with the highest number of dropped catches. Letting a staggering 20 possible chances slip through during the season, poor catching and lethargic ground fielding were arguably the prominent reasons behind RCB's dismal campaign.
Lacking discipline in the field, RCB have also made the most mistakes in the field in terms of fumbles (43). RCB reprieved lives to well-set batsmen on umpteen occasions, allowing the oppositions to rebound into the game. Leading into the 2020 campaign, RCB need to rectify shortcomings and drastically ameliorate fielding standards.
If RCB can effectively implement the suggested measures, they will surely increase their possibilities of emerging triumphant in the IPL 2020 edition.
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