In the first few matches of the tournament, Royal Challengers Bangalore looked like an invincible unit. They won their first four games in a row and finished their Chennai leg on an unbeaten note. The addition of Glenn Maxwell beefed the middle-order as this took the load off AB de Villiers. Also, the inclusion of Kyle Jamieson and the form of Harshal Patel, who has picked 17 wickets in seven games this season, have given RCB a team that could finally go all out and clinch the title.
However, after their unbeaten start, RCB managed only a solitary win, of a narrow one-run against Delhi, in the next three games. Maxwell’s returns diminished and Patel could not get the required assistance from the surface which made him such a force to deal with in Chennai. Also, the form of Virat Kohli has been a cause of major concern for the side – the captain has scored only 198 runs in 163 balls.
However, despite the dip in the form, RCB have the personnel and start to make it through to the playoffs and possibly go all the way and win the title.
There are a few worrying signs for them. There is still a lot of dependency on de Villiers and Patel seems. The side will need to address these concerns once the league restarts.
“If you talk about this season, Virat Kohli the captain will be happier than Virat Kohli the batsman," former India pacer Irfan Pathan said on Star Sports.
“The way the entire team has responded, the way the combination of Virat Kohli and Mike Hesson has worked, and the hard work they put in for the auction," Pathan added.
As things stand right now, RCB look favourites to progress through the playoffs.