The 2020 Indian Premier League campaign was a good one for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, especially when one compares it to the three previous seasons. A playoff appearance is not an easy thing to achieve in the world’s most popular T20 league, after all. The franchise knows that all too well.
But the season ended in much the same way as the three previous three: No trophy to show for and plenty of questions about Virat Kohli’s captaincy.
IPL 2020 started well for RCB but it ended with five consecutive defeats and that is when everyone started talking about whether the team needs to look elsewhere for leadership. With the bat, Kohli had a strictly par season, despite being the team’s second-highest scorer, mainly due to a poor strike-rate.
Still, there were some bright spots for the team as well. Devdutt Padikkal carried his good form from domestic cricket into the IPL too. His poise and timing stood out and he will certainly be one to watch out for in the future. Washington Sundar was brilliant in the Powerplay for RCB and showed that he is back to his best. Similarly, Mohammad Siraj gave a glimpse of the wild talent that makes followers of domestic cricket rate him highly. If he can become more consistent, RCB already possesses the core they need for the future.
RCB's results in every IPL season
|Season||League stage finish||Playoff result|
|IPL 2009||3rd||Lost final|
|IPL 2010||4th||Lost in semi-final|
|IPL 2011||4th out of 10||Lost final|
|IPL 2012||5th out of 9|
|IPL 2013||5th out of 9|
|IPL 2015||3rd||Won Eliminator, Lost Qualifier 2|
|IPL 2016||2nd||Lost final|
|IPL 2020||4th||Lost in Eliminator|
RCB won three of their first four matches and Kohli kept talking about the work they put in before the start of the season. And it looked that way too. They seemed to have plans in place for every opposition and more importantly, their bowlers were executing those plans too with the odd mishap.
The wins kept rolling in. They won seven out of their first 10 matches. But then, they inexplicably lost their next five. They clearly need another finisher lower down the order and on the evidence of what we saw this season, Shivam Dube is not that man.
RCB's results in IPL 2020
|SRH vs RCB||Dubai||RCB won by 10 runs|
|KXIP vs RCB||Dubai||RCB lost by 97 runs|
|RCB vs MI||Dubai||RCB won Super Over after a tied match|
|RCB vs RR||Abu Dhabi||RCB won by 8 wickets|
|RCB vs DC||Dubai||RCB lost by 59 runs|
|CSK vs RCB||Dubai||RCB won by 37 runs|
|RCB vs KKR||Sharjah||RCB won by 82 runs|
|RCB vs KXIP||Sharjah||RCB lost by 8 wickets|
|RR vs RCB||Dubai||RCB won by 7 wickets|
|KKR vs RCB||Abu Dhabi||RCB won by 8 wickets|
|RCB vs CSK||Dubai||RCB lost by 8 wickets|
|MI vs RCB||Abu Dhabi||RCB lost by 5 wickets|
|RCB vs SRH||Sharjah||RCB lost by 5 wickets|
|DC vs RCB||Abu Dhabi||RCB lost by 6 wickets|
| SRH vs RCB |
|Abu Dhabi||RCB lost by 6 wickets|
Padikkal and AB de Villiers were the batting stars of the season for RCB.
Padikkal, who was sort of dragged down by the absence of an in-form opening partner, was reduced to being a one-man army at the top of the order. He can play shots all around the wicket and he can play them with the grace that seems natural to left-handers.
ABD, on the other hand, did things only he can to win some matches almost single-handedly for RCB. Once again, RCB’s ‘alien’ had little support.
Kohli, Finch and Dube scored some runs but their SR’s were poor and that hurt the team in the middle overs. The galling inability to bat according the situation saw the team often struggle to take momentum into the death overs.
Most runs for RCB in IPL 2020
|AB de Villiers||14||454||73*||45.40||158.74||5|
Chahal was the undoubted star with the ball for RCB. The fearless manner in which he flights the ball is a lesson for all other spinners in the game and time and again, he came to RCB’s rescue during the season. His 21 wickets (with a brilliant economy rate of 7.08) were way ahead of all the other bowlers in the team.
Chahal’s brilliance also highlighted RCB’s biggest weakness – the lack of wicket-taking bowlers. If you don’t take wickets in the T20 format, you will never be able to hold down the opposition to manageable totals and more often than not, that is what happened to the RCB. In Chris Morris, they found a dependable overseas star while Washington performed his role pretty well but the attack lacked teeth at critical moments.
Most wickets for RCB in IPL 2020
Still, compared to their performances of the recent, this was a pretty good season for the new management in place and changes must be resisted on that front. They lost steam in the end but before that happened, they did enough to give their die-hard fans hope for the future.
Video highlights of all RCB matches in IPL 2020
Highlights videos courtesy: iplt20.com