No IPL team has ever lost six games on the spin and fought their way into the knockouts, let alone win the trophy. But theoretically, and more crucially mathematically, Royal Challengers Bangalore are not yet out of the knockout equation, though the hope is slender.
The straightforward solution is to win all of their remaining eight games, which would mean they will end up with 16 points, the knockout marker in nine out of the 11 previous editions. Virat Kohli’s team could even afford to stumble once more – teams in the past have qualified with 14 points too, but it would require a substantial run-rate lift (it now remains at a deplorable -1.453).
But first, RCB need to arrest their losing streak, which invariably demands for top-to-bottom tweaks. First, they need to unearth a half-decent opening partner for Kohli. Parthiv Patel, for all his heart, is not quite destructive. Moeen Ali isn’t an alternative either. Maybe, Marcus Stoinis could be given a shot. They could do well in persisting with Shimron Hetmyer.
Equally worrisome is their bowling attack, which apart from Yuzvendra Chahal is toothless. It’s high time Umesh Yadav and Tim Southee shrugged off their inconsistency.