As a long time fan of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL), I can’t help wonder what ails them for such a talented side to be languishing towards the bottom of the table in the 7th edition of the T20 tournament. Tthe teams play 14 matches, and I am disappointed that as on today we (that is RCB) have played 8 and lost 5! The points table updated before today’s matches says it all.
While the resurgent King’s XI Punjab and the perennially powerful Chennai Super Kings have raced ahead of the others, followed by Rajasthan Royals, RCB is fighting to get out of the low middle range. It would seem that we would have to win 5 out of the 6 matches to hope to make it to the top four who qualify for the next round. In my understanding, if we don’t win 5 out of the remaining 6 matches, it’s goodbye for one more season of the IPL, which we have never won so far.
I know it’s easy for us to sit outside and make comments without actually facing the tremendous pressure the players must be under. However, let me say that the difference is that we are fans while they are professional players, being paid huge bucks for their talent and competence. They are expected to withstand the pressure. Indeed on many occasions, more than talent or skill, it is the ability to withstand pressure and overcome the nerves that distinguishes top class performers from others.
Apart from A B deVilliers, the top order batsmen have failed time and again. In every match, there has been an early collapse and the fall of wickets has resulted in huge pressure on the team. The bowlers have by and large done well, but the batsmen have failed for one reason or the other. Big names or reputations don’t matter. Performance does. Gayle, Kohli and Yuvraj have big reputations but in this tournament, sadly all of them have failed.
Let’s see how they perform in the remaining matches. Will they have a miraculous return to form? Will they be able to erase the past few performances from their mind and do as well as they as capable of doing? Only time will tell. We fans continue to hope that they will not let us down.