RCB, same old, same old

Old habits die hard, they say.

Winning the toss on a good wicket, bright sunny day, ideal for batting and you choose to field. You tinker with your team line up even when you win, does it remind you of someone. A certain Virat Kohli comes to mind, doesn’t he?

Well Mr. Kohli was in his elements again as he made whole-scale changes to his team and got back to his old ways of chasing even as RCB recorded a 59 run defeat at the hands of Delhi Capitals in Match 19 of IPL yesterday here in Dubai.

DC were put into bat by RCB, and they got off to a wonderful start. Prithvi Shaw scored a brisk 23 ball 42 to set the platform for DC. Shikhar and Rishab batted well. Shreyas Iyer missed out in this one, which after his 80 odd in some 30 balls the last time, this innings proved he was human after all. The hero of the innings though was Marcus Stoinis, this Australian of Greek descent, is a hit with the ladies, and yesterday night was in his element as he blasted 53 off just 26 balls. DC have been externally lucky with their foreign imports this year, all of them from Stoinis, Nortje, Rabada, and even Hetmyer have served the team beautifully when needed, and should be proud of their efforts.

One incident that occurred while DC were batting, was Navdeep Saini bowling a beamer at Stoinis, which wrapped Stoinis on his gloves. The unfortunate bit was Saini not apologizing to the batsman, as is the norm, basic courtesy. Even Gavaskar, the old wise head at the commentators box, questioned Saini’s intention, saying

These kinds of incidents are usually a reflection of the leadership and the environment in the change room. There is a fine line between aggression and abuse, and certain members of this RCB team cross the line quite frequently, unapologetically. The concerned authority ought to look into the matter and make sure that respect is freely given as received and that the rules are the same for one and all. Moving on.

Delhi Capitals batted well, batted with a plan and executed it. They targeted the right bowlers at the right time. So, someone like Washington Sundar in the powerplay was negotiated with respect, but Saini and Udana were taken for plenty in the end overs.

Overall RCB are back to where they started with their bowling really, the problem continues to linger. Set a target of 197 to win, RCB was dealt an early blow when Ashwin got rid of the young leftie Padikkal in the third over of the game. This was a big blow as the opening partnership has worked well for RCB this time round, particularly good has been Padikkal who has batted with real impetus. From there on it was a real struggle for RCB. They kept on losing one wicket after another from one end, while Kohli looked on half in helplessness and half in disbelief as the same old script unfolded right in front of his eyes. Soon the score was 75/4 and the target looked far far away. In the end Kohli got out as well for an almost run a ball 42, the score 94/5 after 13 and the game virtually lost for RCB.

A word for Axar Patel, he was dropped from the team to make way for Mishra. Now that Mishra is out of the entire tournament, Axar will play the whole thing. Into the eleven today, Axar bowled his heart out and returned figures off 2/18 off 4. Here’s wishing Mishra ji a speedy recovery.

Rabada got some tap towards the later stages of the game against KKR, where he was taken to the cleaners by Morgan. But yesterday with RCB, he did extremely well and ended with 4 wickets.The real revelation for me, as I have said before, has been Nortje. This big, strapping lad from South African has grown in leaps and bounces as the tournament has progressed and has been mighty impressive. There is still some way to go in this tournament and I hope he continues to bowl the same way as he is doing now. Well Nortje and Rabada finished the game, with RCB only getting to 137/9 in their allotted 20.

In all honesty, apart from Washington who bowled with accuracy and purpose, there are not many positives to write about from the RCB perspective. They are again going down that same route as in the bygone years. Unfortunately for them I think they are stuck with the same core group of players for a few more years at least. Unless of course they go the Delhi way and start with a clean slate, which looks highly unlikely at the moment. Looks like another barren season for the RCB fans.

The Delhi capitals though are looking like THE team with every outing. The players each of them know their role in the team, contributing accordingly and the juggernaut just keeps rolling.

This was more of a mismatch really, hoping for a better game of cricket the next time around.

Onto the next.

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