Despite worst start, RCB will keep changing combos: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli dropped a catch at slip in the opening over of Rajasthan's chase. © BCCI

Royal Challengers Bangalore‘s campaign in IPL 2019 continued on Tuesday with a fourth consecutive loss, this one by seven wickets to Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur, to mark the beleaguered franchise’s worst ever start to any season of the league.

Put in to bat by Rajasthan captain Ajinkya Rahane, Bangalore made 158/4 in their 20 overs but failed to close out the game, even though it went to the penultimate delivery.

In all, RCB dropped four catches during Rajasthan’s chase including one by Virat Kohli in the second over when he spilled Rahane at first slip.

This aspect of their defeat – which came after the 118-run loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad which Kohli termed as one of the franchise’s worst – as well as the constant changes to playing XIs has added to RCB’s predicament in IPL 2019. They remain at the bottom of the points table and are nearing the stage where every match will need to be won in order to remain in contention for the playoffs. (READ: Four games, four losses: RCB’s worst start ever, but hope floats)

Asked about the constant reshuffling after the loss, Kohli suggested that it was what RCB will keep doing as they search for that elusive first win.

“This tournament is not that long. It’s not going to go on for months,” he said. “This is a month-and-a-half or a couple of months maximum. You have to be on the eight ball. You have to think on your feet. You have to think of the best possible combination going forward. We will definitely sit down and consider talking about what we can do. What can we do to get the balance right. (VIDEO: RCB crash to fourth straight defeat)

“Hopefully get some fresh guys in and they can make some cracking match-winning performances for us and get the team going. That’s an important factor: to think on our feet. Not necessarily worry about the other stuff. Just focus on the best XI we can take on the park and be competitive every game.”

Kohli was bowled for 23 off 25 balls by Shreyas Gopal.
Kohli was bowled for 23 off 25 balls by Shreyas Gopal. © BCCI

Bangalore first lost to Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets, then to Mumbai Indians by six runs and Hyderabad by 118 runs. A fourth loss in a row marks a franchise low, and one more will equal the IPL record of five owned by Mumbai, Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers.

For RCB, who in 2017 finished last and in 2018 came in sixth, this string of defeats has stung more than others.

“In a tournament like the IPL, when the team doesn’t have any momentum, things can get difficult,” said Kohli. “The guys can get a little tight in the field. Bodies can get stiff. A bit of nervousness as well. We have to consider everything. The team hasn’t got off to a great start. These things look really bad when they happen in this sort of phase for a team.” (READ: IPL 2019 Purple Cap: Yuzvendra Chahal surpasses Imran Tahir)

All is not lost for Bangalore, however. In 2015, Mumbai lost their first four matches but when scripted a stunning turnaround to storm into the playoffs and eventually win the IPL trophy.

“We have 10 games to go. If we start turning things around pretty soon, then we can get on a roll as well,” said Kohli. “We have to keep believing as a side. Just four games in, we would have liked one result our way if not two. The Mumbai game and this one, I thought we played well. We just didn’t grab onto our chances, we will like to improve our performance and take a bit of confidence that we were a bit more competitive than the last game.”

Bangalore next play Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday.