Royal Challengers Bangalore or RCB have had a fantastic start to IPL 2020. They are among the top four teams mid-way in the tournament. They have out-batted and out-bowled top oppositions such as CSK, Mumbai Indians to be among the top four currently.
Can RCB go all the way in IPL 2020, considering their superb start to the tournament so far?
Yes, they can
They finally have a settled opening pair
In the previous seasons, RCB have struggled with their opening pair. But this season, they have a settled opening pair in Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch, who have given a brisk start in the powerplay. Paddikal has been a revelation and is easily the find of the tournament. Finch has also done well, but much more is needed from him.
Kohli and ABD are on form
Kohli started with few low scores, but soon find his rhythm and is now leading from the front. His contribution with the bat is crucial to RCB's chances in the IPL. Besides, AB de Villiers is in roaring form. On a slow pitch, he scored a masterful 73 not out off 33 balls with 5 fours and 6 sixes and helped RCB to a match-winning total of 194/2 against KKR. Together, Kohli and ABD can bat out any opposition in IPL.
Bowling has come to the party
With the inclusion of Chris Morris, RCB bowling has got the teeth to the bowling attack. Morris is taking wicket upfront, and even containing the runs, piling pressure on the batsmen. Washington Sundar is simply unplayable in the powerplay. YS Chahal is deceiving batsmen with his variations, and stemming the flow of runs in the middle-order. Isuru Udana is also making a few useful contributions. And not to forget, the reliable Navdeep Saini. Overall, it's a good bowling line-up.
They are winning close games
In the previous seasons, RCB have been guilty of losing their nerve and snatching defeats from the jaws of victory and that has hampered their chances in the tournament. But this season, they won a tight game against Mumbai Indians via super over, and just lost the match against Kings XI Punjab on the last ball. Hence, RCB are fighting till the last ball – something that was missing in the previous seasons.
But, there are some issues
RCB too dependent on Kohli, ABD
If the two fail, RCB could go down the hill, and lose matches. Their middle-order is highly dependent on them, as the batsmen to follow them, apart from Morris, are too inexperienced to take RCB to the finish line.
Mumbai Indians' batsmen Kieron Pollard and Ishan Kishan butchered RCB bowling in the death overs, scoring close to 90 runs in the last 5 overs, but they could just tie the match. But in some games, their death-overs bowling has done exceedingly well. This inconsistency could come to haunt them in the business end of the tournament.
In the clash against KXIP, RCB came up with questionable strategies such as keeping in-form ABD waiting till the 16th over to come out in the middle. Plus, they didn't use Sundar in powerplay where he has been successful so far.
RCB look a well-rounded unit for a change since 2016 and are playing as a team. If they continue to work as a team, with the batting and bowling complementing each other, they look certain to make it to the playoffs, and they could possibly go all the way.