Another season of hope, anticipation and disappointment comes to an end. It was a successful year for newborns Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants and the veteran Rajasthan Royals, The Firsts of the IPL. But there was one team quietly sulking in the corner yet again. Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, fondly known by fans as RCB, is one of the most followed franchises. Then again, social media is the only place where RCB actually claims a stake. Over the 15 years of IPL, RCB has always found itself reeling over the elusive trophy. While they somehow found their way to the playoffs, courtesy of Mumbai Indians, they were knocked out by Rajasthan in Q2. Let’s have a look at their tumultuous campaign.
Most Runs: Faf du Plessis
It’s not easy to just phase yourself into a new team and lead them to glory. Well, Faf du Plessis doesn’t care about stereotypes. In his debut campaign as both an IPL captain and RCB player, Faf has been nothing short of impressive. Opening the innings with the generational talent of Virat Kohli, Faf has managed to produce the numbers he did for Chennai. The South African ended his campaign with 481 runs in his kitty.
Most Wickets: Wanindu Hasaranga
Yuzi Chahal’s departure left a massive gap in RCB’s bowling attack. Many proclaimed it would be RCB’s fatal weakness, but the wizardry of Wanindu Hasaranga wiped them off their ground. Hasaranga has been dynamic this season, removing set batsmen for fun. Hailing from the land of Muralitharan, Hasaranga is quite a magician himself. The Sri Lankan has picked up 26 scalps this season, finishing just a wicket behind his former compatriot.
Best Economy: David Willey and Glenn Maxwell
The reason we have two names here owes to arbitrary decisions of RCB management. David Willey has the best bowling economy at 6.54, but the fact that he is played only 4 matches and bowled just 11 overs doesn’t justify The Sportsway’s standards. So we decided to bring in Glenn Maxwell, who has bowled in 10 innings this season. The Australian has pitched in 24 overs of misery upon the opposition, leaking at a frugal rate of 6.87 an over.
Best Strike-rate: Dinesh Karthik
What a fabulous season Dinesh Karthik had! Finishing matches with fluency while being on a high alert behind the stumps, Bangalore has finally found their version of MS Dhoni. DK has unleashed his fury whenever his team required him to. The talismanic keeper-finisher has bludgeoned the bowlers at an intimidating strike rate of 183.33
Best Performer: Dinesh Karthik
The reason DK claims this place against the likes of Faf du Plessis and Wanindu Hasaranga is because of his impact. DK’s presence in the dugout was enough to throw the teams into disarray in the death. Barring a certain Cap Cool, all the skippers in the IPL were at their wit’s end. The finisher’s revival played a critical role in RCB’s march towards playoffs.
Worst Performer: Virat Kohli
Life is mysterious. Who would have thought that Virat Kohli would be wearing the tag of the worst performer for the Bangalore outfit this year? The ex-Indian captain has looked out of sorts in most of the matches. Honestly speaking, Kohli never looked comfortable on the crease this season, let alone being reliable. Well, he still has 341 runs to show; they have come at a disappointing rate of nearly 115. The ace of RCB and the Indian team averages just 22.37 runs this season, which can create tensions regarding the T20 WC later this year.
FIND of the season: Rajat Patidar
How dramatic can IPL be?! A youngster playing his first season comes out in a do-or-die knockout match, with bigwigs back in the hut and the massive pressure of posting a good score. Anyone might collapse here, but not Rajat Patidar. In one of the most enticing innings ever played, Rajat Patidar massacred the Lucknow bowling attack, scoring the first IPL century by an Indian in playoffs. The innings speak of his talent and how vital of a cog will he be in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s future. Stay Tuned with The Sportsway for more updates.