Royal Challengers Bangalore’s disastrous journey in 2017 continued as they slumped to their seventh defeat of the season. Playing against Rising Pune Supergiant at Pune’s home ground, RCB were outplayed in all departments and lost the game by a huge margin of 61 runs.
Except for the toss, very few things went in Kohli’s favour. After conceding 157 runs, RCB managed to score only 96 in their 20 overs.
Here, we look at the five mistakes committed by Bangalore which led to their downfall in Pune.
#1 Rahul Tripathi dropped on 11 by Kohli
One of the vital ingredients of Pune’s success is the start given by Rahul Tripathi at the top of the order. In the last five matches, he has scored over 30 runs in each innings, building the team a perfect platform.
Today Adam Milne created an opportunity to send back this right-handed batsman early in the innings when he was on 11. On the last ball of the third over, Tripathi went down the track to pull Milne and offered a simple catch to Kohli who was at mid-on.
The ball headed straight to the skipper, who is considered one of the safest fielders around the world. But Kohli misread the trajectory of the ball and dropped the catch.
This dropped catch proved to be vital as Tripathi went on to score 37 runs from 28 balls.
#2 Failure to pick wickets at regular intervals
On a slow and dry Pune wicket, batting was extremely difficult but to the delight of Pune’s batsmen, RCB bowlers never found a way of picking up wickets.
Samuel Badree struck the first blow in the fourth over but after that, there was little for RCB fans to cheer. The second wicket fell in the ninth over, and the third in the fourteenth over.
In the slog overs, the RCB bowlers failed to pick any wicket, allowing Pune to accumulate 46 runs in the last five overs.
#3 No strong opening partnership
The opening partnership has been a constant worry for RCB throughout the tournament and today it proved to be a major reason for their defeat.
Bangalore tried Travis Head at the top alongside Virat Kohli but the Australian batsman managed to score only two runs in five balls and was dismissed in the second over.
As the first wicket fell quickly, it added pressure on the middle order and also increased the confidence of the Pune bowlers.
#4 The failure of AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers is the spearhead of RCB’s batting. He is vastly experienced, has innovative strokes and the ability to score runs at will. Hence, for a tricky chase of 158, RCB desperately needed ABD to spend some time at the crease.
However, the South African batsman lasted only eight deliveries, adding to the misery of the visiting team. Coming in at the fall of Head’s wicket, de Villiers’ job was to anchor the innings with Kohli and guide the inexperienced middle order in the chase.
The South African failed to score a boundary in his first seven deliveries and managed to get only three runs. He certainly felt the pressure and on the fourth ball of the fifth over, Ferguson offered him a freebie.
AB went for the drive and connected well, however, he timed it straight into the hands of Manoj Tiwary at short cover.
This wicket pushed RCB further back in the chase and they never recovered from the blow.
#5 The middle order crumbled under pressure
Batting was difficult but not impossible on the day. Kohli showed that if batsmen hung in there and properly applied themselves, then the runs would come. However, the middle order of RCB simply failed to learn from the captain.
Kedar Jadhav was run out due to terrible miscommunication between himself and Kohli, but before getting out, the wicket-keeper batsman failed to make a contribution.
Sachin Baby and Stuart Binny too joined the bandwagon and lost their wickets in quick succession. Baby tried to play a delivery that was sliding down the leg side while Binny was dismissed trying to pull a short ball from outside off stump, towards square leg.
Pawan Negi too didn’t fare well and offered a simple catch to the long off fielder. More than the surface, reckless shots caused RCB’s downfall.
No batsman from No. 3 to No. 7 reached double figures as they added a cumulative total of just 13 runs.