At Rajkot on 18th April, Royal Challengers Bangalore finally showed some class when they defeated Gujarat Lions (GL). During previous nine editions of IPL, we have seen six different champions (considering two different franchises for team Hyderabad). There are total five franchises, which have been part of all 10 editions of IPL so far.
They are Mumbai Indians (MI), Delhi Daredevils (DD), King’s XI Punjab (KXIP), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), & Royal Challenger Bangalore (RCB). Out of them DD, KXIP and RCB could never lift the title. Overall most deserving team to win the title among them is RCB. RCB could never lift title despite a strong side right since 2008 (or say since 2009) and decent performance over the years.
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Interestingly RCB is to IPL, what England is to ICC Cricket World Cup and Netherlands to FIFA World Cup. Like England and Netherlands, RCB has played in final of IPL thrice but ended up as losing side each time. Star-studded RCB had a quite forgettable start in 2008 when they finished 7th in the league stage. Franchise owner Vijay Mallya was livid as he thought that team composition was
Franchise owner Vijay Mallya was livid as he thought that team composition was not suitable for the format of the game. Mallya fired CEO Charu Sharma. Next year though, RCB performed well under the leadership of veteran Anil Kumble. RCB reached to final of the tournament but lost to Deccan Chargers.
In 2011, RCB lost to Dhoni’s Chennai Super King in the final. Current RCB team a dream team. What would you call a batting lie up, which has likes of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers (ABD) in it? All three of them are part of the side for many seasons now.
Last year 2016, RCB had a fairy tale run during the second half of the tournament. After winning just two matches in first seven matches, RCB won six out of next seven matches and finished second in point table. Captain Virat Kohli led from the front with four centuries in a single edition of the tournament. The prowess of RCB was best manifested in the match against GL on May 14th, 2016.
ABD and Virat Kohli decimated GL bowling and amassed 248 runs. RCB won the match by 144 runs. RCB was lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in a closely fought match in the final. Kohli and boys had a serious heartbreak. This season as well RCB was favourite but started badly. Kohli missed few matches due to a shoulder injury. The team was struggling with the right winning combination.
Virat Kohli himself could not hide his frustration after repeated losses. However, with a good show at Rajkot against GL, RCB seems to have regained the mojo to an extent. The biggest solace for the side is that Chris Gayle has finally clicked. If Gayle can continue his show at Rajkot, RCB would be a side to beat. It is not only Kohli, ABD and Gayle; RCB has a name like Kedar Jadhav and Shane Watson on its squad, and thus it is a real formidable side.
Virat Kohli is a go getter. With heartbreak in 2016, Kohli must be desperately looking for his maiden IPL title this year. With champion players in his side, Kohli and RCB deserve this and RCB’s performance at Rajkot have resurrected hopes of RCB’s fans. It does or die situation for RCB this year. Hope they will break the shackle, which England couldn’t at Cricket World Cup and Netherlands at FIFA World Cup.