RCB finished last in the IPL 2017 points table © BCCI
RCB finished last in the IPL 2017 points table © BCCI

Plagued with injuries, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) hit an embarrassing low in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, who had swatted 1,660 runs combined in IPL 9, managed only 524 runs in this season. Yuzvendra Chahal, second highest wicket-taker in IPL 9, managed a mere 14 wickets. Chris Gayle, greatest batsman in the history of the format, went almost unnoticed. RCB, runners-up in IPL 9, finished at the bottom of the table with 7 points. RCB, who have the highest score in IPL to their name, were skittled out for the lowest score. If anything, RCB were reduced to nothingness.

Hits

Samuel Badree took a hat-trick against Mumbai Indians, becoming only the third leg-spinner to do so in IPL. He dismissed Parthiv Patel, Rohit Sharma, and Mitchell McClenaghan at RCB’s home ground M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Gayle became the first player to complete 10,000 runs in T20 cricket. In addition, he featured in 101 IPL matches, scoring 3,626 runs at 41.20 including 5 hundreds and 21 half-centuries.

Amidst RCB’s debacle, Pawan Negi translated his talent into performance. He ended up as RCB’s highest wicket-taker, scalping 16 wickets at 12.31 at an impressive economy of 6.12. With bat, at lower order, he scored 144 runs at 18. To his credit, he batted at a time when RCB were at a crucial juncture. He showed tremendous character despite his team failing to put up a stellar show.

Tymal Mills, who garnered INR 12 crores in this year’s bid, featured in only 5 matches and took as many wickets.

Flops

In 9 matches, Gayle could score 200 runs at 22.22. Barring his staggering 77 against Gujarat Lions, the Gayle storm failed to devastate the opposition.

Of RCB’s 3 wins, one came under Shane Watson’s leadership in the absence of Kohli. Apart from that, Watson had a rough time with both bat and ball. In 8 matches, he scored 71 runs at 11.83 and bagged 5 wickets at 49.

After his successful stint in ODIs for India, Kedar Jadhav was expected to emulate his stunning batsmanship this summer. However, all he could manage was a solitary half-century in 13 matches.

All-time lows

Kolkata Knight Riders bundled out RCB for a mediocre 49, the lowest score in IPL. To make matters worse, none of the batters could score in double digits, with the highest being de Villiers’ 8.

RCB displayed their worst performance in IPL. In 14 games, they came up victorious only thrice, with one game ending in no result due to incessant rain.

Injuries

Mitchell Starc had pulled out of the league even before the auction, citing fitness issues. RCB were then pushed further in trouble, as KL Rahul was ruled out due to shoulder injury.

RCB were lucky that their captain Kohli missed only 5 matches due to the injured he had sustained in Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2016-17. To join him in recovery list was de Villiers, who later left the team to prepare for South Africa’s ODI series against England.

Captaincy or collective failure?

Watson and Kohli gave their best to ploy strategies, but the team collectively failed to apply themselves and play well as a cohesive unit.

Conclusion

Fortune never smiled upon RCB. First, they were hit by injuries. Second, they could never continue the momentum. Last, none of the players looked in ominous form and helped the team win single-handedly.