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IPL 2017: RCB, a rudderless group of Galacticos

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A team with Kohli, de Villiers and Gayle in line-up should not have performed as badly as RCB has

Pratyush Raj  |  New Delhi  April 29, 2017 Last Updated at 13:15 IST

When the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was about to take off, one side that looked the most menacing – at least on paper – was (RCB). The first glimpse of the line-up easily reminded one of the term ‘galactico’, now famous in the world of football for describing either a superstar signing or being transferred for an exorbitant price. The term is more commonly used for every big player Real Madrid signed during the year 2000. 


In IPL, the team, clearly, has been one of galacticos – with stars like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Shane Watson all playing for it. However, the show of the side, as it were, seems to belie the latent strength. So far as this edition of is concerned, the three-time finalist might have to win all if its remaining six matches to reach the playoffs.


In the T20 format of cricket, it usually takes just one of a team’s player to fire and take the game away from the opposition. However, when you have a star-studded team and all your superstars fail collectively, it is a cause for concern. That has been the story of this season – languishing on the wrong half of the table with just five points, in spite of so many players who can carry any match single-handedly on their shoulders.


Skipper Virat Kohli, has been out of form after a gruelling test series against Australia and an injury. He has completely failed to replicate his last year’s success this time around. Kohli’s absence due to his shoulder injury in the first three games hurt The team became a little rudderless early on in the tournament, and it remains so. 


Though Kohli has scored two half-centuries since his return, he still looks a pale shadow of his imperious best last year, when he slammed four centuries and seven 50s in 16 matches. Troubled by back pain, AB doesn’t seem his usual self, either. And, Gayle has now become an extravagance for any team to have, thanks of his inconsistency. The big Jamaican had laboured last year as well, with 227 runs from 10 matches. And a tally of 152 runs in six matches this time suggests a deterioration in form. 


The challenge for in the second half of the tournament will be to make the whole team tick, rather than depending purely on individual brilliance, which has been an elusive x-factor for a while.


In previous years, saw scoring big with its robust batting line-up. But the crown still remained elusive for one full decade. And the script this year seems hardly different. In fact, the team has been all over the place, looking completely clueless, this season.


In the nine matches that has played so far this season, it has won just two, clocking a net run rate of -1.401. The score reflects poorly on any team boasting the starcast does. The famed top-order in the batting line-up has failed to give the team a stable. On the pitches where bowlers has received some assistance or extra bounce, the batsmen have been found extremely wanting in their skills. Chris Gayle, for example, has struggled to deal with deliveries rising off the wicket or those pitched in the good length area. AB de Villiers, after showing a brilliant performance in one match, completely fizzled out.


Captain Kohli has been highly critical of his side’s performance. After his team’s defeat against Gujarat Lions, he said: “It is never easy to lose games. We need to get better with our performances. You have got to come out and play with intent. We tried to do it with the bat. The only way to come out of it is to play positive We are putting too much pressure on the team. Individuals need to stand up and take responsibility.”


The Indian contingent in the team, too, hasn’t stood up to the task. The inexperienced middle-order has faltered time and again. The likes of Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Kedar Jadhav and Mandeep Singh haven’t clicked.


Another aspect of the team’s game is that despite piling up huge scores, it has been found wanting in the bowling department. Especially its death bowling has let it down consistently. Tymal Mills alone is not enough to plug the gap on the runs; he needs support from the other end. Putting the burden entirely on his shoulders was not a wise move.


The slot for a complete all-rounder is also vacant, with only Shane Watson in that role for Worse, even Watson has failed to find a spot in the playing side. Overall, has so far in this year simply remained a team that is great only on paper.

IPL 2017: RCB, a rudderless group of Galacticos

A team with Kohli, de Villiers and Gayle in line-up should not have performed as badly as RCB has

A team with Kohli, de Villiers and Gayle in line-up should not have performed as badly as RCB has

When the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was about to take off, one side that looked the most menacing – at least on paper – was (RCB). The first glimpse of the line-up easily reminded one of the term ‘galactico’, now famous in the world of football for describing either a superstar signing or being transferred for an exorbitant price. The term is more commonly used for every big player Real Madrid signed during the year 2000. 


In IPL, the team, clearly, has been one of galacticos – with stars like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Shane Watson all playing for it. However, the show of the side, as it were, seems to belie the latent strength. So far as this edition of is concerned, the three-time finalist might have to win all if its remaining six matches to reach the playoffs.


In the T20 format of cricket, it usually takes just one of a team’s player to fire and take the game away from the opposition. However, when you have a star-studded team and all your superstars fail collectively, it is a cause for concern. That has been the story of this season – languishing on the wrong half of the table with just five points, in spite of so many players who can carry any match single-handedly on their shoulders.


Skipper Virat Kohli, has been out of form after a gruelling test series against Australia and an injury. He has completely failed to replicate his last year’s success this time around. Kohli’s absence due to his shoulder injury in the first three games hurt The team became a little rudderless early on in the tournament, and it remains so. 


Though Kohli has scored two half-centuries since his return, he still looks a pale shadow of his imperious best last year, when he slammed four centuries and seven 50s in 16 matches. Troubled by back pain, AB doesn’t seem his usual self, either. And, Gayle has now become an extravagance for any team to have, thanks of his inconsistency. The big Jamaican had laboured last year as well, with 227 runs from 10 matches. And a tally of 152 runs in six matches this time suggests a deterioration in form. 


The challenge for in the second half of the tournament will be to make the whole team tick, rather than depending purely on individual brilliance, which has been an elusive x-factor for a while.


In previous years, saw scoring big with its robust batting line-up. But the crown still remained elusive for one full decade. And the script this year seems hardly different. In fact, the team has been all over the place, looking completely clueless, this season.


In the nine matches that has played so far this season, it has won just two, clocking a net run rate of -1.401. The score reflects poorly on any team boasting the starcast does. The famed top-order in the batting line-up has failed to give the team a stable. On the pitches where bowlers has received some assistance or extra bounce, the batsmen have been found extremely wanting in their skills. Chris Gayle, for example, has struggled to deal with deliveries rising off the wicket or those pitched in the good length area. AB de Villiers, after showing a brilliant performance in one match, completely fizzled out.


Captain Kohli has been highly critical of his side’s performance. After his team’s defeat against Gujarat Lions, he said: “It is never easy to lose games. We need to get better with our performances. You have got to come out and play with intent. We tried to do it with the bat. The only way to come out of it is to play positive We are putting too much pressure on the team. Individuals need to stand up and take responsibility.”


The Indian contingent in the team, too, hasn’t stood up to the task. The inexperienced middle-order has faltered time and again. The likes of Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Kedar Jadhav and Mandeep Singh haven’t clicked.


Another aspect of the team’s game is that despite piling up huge scores, it has been found wanting in the bowling department. Especially its death bowling has let it down consistently. Tymal Mills alone is not enough to plug the gap on the runs; he needs support from the other end. Putting the burden entirely on his shoulders was not a wise move.


The slot for a complete all-rounder is also vacant, with only Shane Watson in that role for Worse, even Watson has failed to find a spot in the playing side. Overall, has so far in this year simply remained a team that is great only on paper.

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Pratyush Raj

Business Standard

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