This is a new year, a new season, and a new group of players, but the result is the same old story for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The Bangalore franchise, led by the current Indian captain Virat Kohli, has lost its first three matches in the IPL in 2019.
But more than the number of losses, this is their margin of defeat, which is a primary concern for team management.
In the last 11 editions, the RCB had qualified for the last three times (2009, 2011, 2016), but three of them lost. Out of the remaining eight seasons, RCB failed to qualify for the playoffs in six of them (2008, 2012-14, 2017-18). Of those six seasons, 2017 was their worst season because they stayed in the last position in the points table and were successful in winning only three matches.
From Rahul Dravid in 2008 to Kohli in recent years, six different players have captained Bangalore franchisees in their IPL history.
In the top six captains listed above, only Kumble, Vettori and Kohli captained the franchise for more than one season.
As seen in the table, RCB’s greatest time came in the reign of Kumble, because the team was runner-up in 2009 and third in 2010.
Since the flamboyant Indian captain Kohli assumed responsibility for the full-time captaincy in 2013, RCB has seen more than the highs. Since 2013, the franchise has overtaken the group stage twice only. Even during the 2016 season of Kohli, the historic innings of 973 runs in 16 matches was not enough for the franchise because they failed to cross the final barrier.
It is difficult to digest the fact that batting of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Lokesh Rahul and Shane Watson also failed to win the trophy for RCB. This is the reason that the Bangalore franchise is often compared to the South African cricket team; They both came out as chokers.
In spite of consistent reshuffle in the team and supporting staff over the last few years, RCB has failed in repeatedly trying to win its first IPL trophy. However, in all these years the captaincy has never changed hands.
If such a player had a record of bad captaincy, then any franchise would have apparently sacked that player and appointed a new captain. However, RCB remains with Kohli because he is Kohli, India’s most powerful cricketer. And since man’s batting has never been an issue, only the quality of his leadership is open to debate.
Changes in leadership will bring new ideas and new strategies. But in the current team, only De Villiers has an important experience of the former leadership, and he is among the longest serving players in the history of the franchisee.
Considering the ICC World Cup 2019 in some stage of the tournament, Kohli has a great chance to rest. And since the DeWiliers know RCB in and out of the set-up, the franchisee can try to appoint them as new captains for the rest of the season.
Who knows, the fate of the struggling team can change well.