Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will have to lift their game quickly or else things can go downhill for them in IPL 2020.
He made this observation while reviewing the Virat Kohli-led side's defeat against the Mumbai Indians (MI) in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra started by pointing out that RCB's decision to make three changes to their playing XI at such a late stage in the tournament is an indication of instability in their line-up.
"RCB made three changes. I feel it is a problem because if you change your key players at this stage, that means things are changing quite a bit."
The reputed commentator observed that RCB had taken a bold step by including Joshua Philippe instead of Aaron Finch while adding that he would have preferred them playing Isuru Udana ahead of Dale Steyn.
"They played Joshua Philippe and didn't play Finch. I think they have taken a call that they will not play Finch, big call but it has been taken. They didn't play Moeen Ali, according to me they should have played Udana but they played Steyn. Navdeep Saini is injured, so Shivam Dube came in place of him."
Talking about the RCB batting effort, Aakash Chopra highlighted that Devdutt Padikkal and Philippe had gotten them off to an almost perfect start.
"They made a very good start. Devdutt Padikkal outstanding, he is India's bright future, played very well and so did Joshua Philippe. They were off to an explosive start but after that the breaks were applied."
The former KKR player lauded Jasprit Bumrah for stalling the RCB momentum by getting the better of three batsmen including Virat Kohli, with AB de Villiers falling to Kieron Pollard.
"Bumrah came like a storm and blew everyone away. First he got Kohli on a bouncer and after that he picked two other wickets in a single over. He is a priceless player. AB de Villiers got out to Kieron Pollard's full toss and they managed to reach 164 only."
He pointed out that the Mumbai Indians had chased down the 165-run target easily despite a few initial hiccups, with Suryakumar Yadav playing a match-winning knock.
"When Mumbai batted, the wickets did fall and it felt like they may go downhill but this team has so many match-winners. In the end they win with 5 balls to spare with Suryakumar Yadav and Pollard unbeaten."
Aakash Chopra on the road ahead for RCB
Aakash Chopra highlighted that RCB seem to be going on a downward trend with consecutive losses in their last two matches.
"RCB are slipping because they lost their last match on Sunday and now here also. When you start losing, the last match that they lost to CSK will hurt, and the next two matches are against Delhi and Hyderabad, with the latter on the rise."
The 43-year-old added that RCB are on a sticky pitch and would need to win at least one of their remaining two matches to assure themselves of a IPL 2020 playoffs spot.
"They are finding themselves on a slippery slope now. They will have to reach 16 points because their net run rate is not that great and they will have to start doing better."
"My biggest worry is that if either of Kohli or AB de Villiers do not perform, their ship sinks. If you start losing at the business end of the tournament, if you start changing, things are not looking very rosy. I am slightly worried for Kolhi's team now."
Royal Challengers Bangalore are currently placed at the second position in the IPL 2020 points table, with 14 points to their credit. They will guarantee themselves a spot in the top two with wins in their remaining couple of encounters but an adverse result could deny them a spot in the playoffs.
Published 29 Oct 2020, 10:30 IST