For a team, which has failed to reach the play-offs six times during the last 12 editions of the IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s dismal record in the league has continued this season too. The team, which finished last in 2017 and sixth in the league last year, has suffered six losses in as many matches this year and is placed at the bottom of the points table. As the team faces hosts Kings XI Punjab in a IPL match at IS Bindra PCA Stadium, Mohali, on Saturday, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s spinner Yuzvendra Chahal sounded hopeful of a comeback from the team.
“Yes, we have lost all the six matches but still we have eight matches to play in the league this season. We had a one break and the team discussed about various aspects of batting and bowling. It is an important match for us against Kings XI Punjab and if we can get the momentum, it will help us. We have forgotten about the last six matches. We cannot change the result of last six matches but we can aim to win the next eight matches. We are backing ourselves to win,” said Chahal.
In their six matches this season, Royal Challengers Bangalore scored less than 140 two times. While they made a disastrous start to their campaign with a seven-wicket loss against Chennai Super Kings in their opening match, the team has not tasted win in the last five matches. The team lost their last match against Delhi Capitals by four wickets last Sunday. While the team has three batsmen in the form of skipper Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Parthiv Patel among the top 20 run-getters this season, spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is the only bowler from the team to be among top-20 bowlers this season. “I think we cannot blame our bowling or batting alone. It is a team effort and the team has failed to click. To win matches, you need the whole team to click and we have been missing that in our last six matches. We have been bowling well till the 16th over. But we have not been bowling well in the last four overs. We need one good game and the bowlers need to have their confidence back. In 2016, we bowled well and came back from a similar situation after winning six matches out of seven matches to reach the final,” added Chahal.
The spinner has taken nine wickets in six matches for the team so far in the league and has been enjoying the challenge. “I am enjoying my bowling. I have been doing that since last one year and the experience of matches always helps. The ground is bigger at Mohali as compared to Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru and as a spinner, I will aim to use this to my advantage. It has been difficult for spinners to bowl the death overs due to dew but if spinners can take wickets in middle overs, it will help the team’s chances,” Chahal said.
RCB get Dale Steyn boost
Veteran South African pacer Dale Steyn on Friday joined Royal Challengers Bangalore as a replacement for the injured Nathan Coulter-Nile, giving a much needed boost to the bowling department of the bottom-placed team in the IPL. Steyn will replace Australian Coulter-Nile, who is recovering from a back injury.
Steyn will be available for the team from April 16. “Royal Challengers Bangalore have signed Dale Steyn as a replacement for the injured Nathan Coulter-Nile for the remainder of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019,” read an IPL statement. Steyn went unsold in the previous two IPL auctions and last played in the competition in 2016 when he represented Gujarat Lions.
— With PTI inputs