News Karnataka
Wednesday, February 28 2024

The commons are overtaking the Royals: Is it time for change RCB?

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After 3 consecutive losses in IPL Season 12, fans are baying for the blood of the Royal Challengers, Bangalore (RCB as they are popularly known, but not so popular now). Tonight in the battle of the two Royals in the IPL – Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers – the challengers must challenge themselves if they are to win and they must, if want to retain the tag Royal and keep their fans loyal. Both the Royals lie at the bottom of the points table, with nothing to show against their name.

The table is not going to shake if either of them wins tonight, but it’s not the table or other royals that fans from the state care about. They are concerned about the RCB. They want something to cheer about in return for their loyalty year after year.

RCB as the IPL franchise is popularly known (not so popularly known now) has lost its first three games of the IPL league season 12, the last one against the Sunrisers Hyderabad by a huge margin. More than the loss, it was the mauling that they got at the hands of Warner and Bairstow that raised the ante for Captain Kohli. The fielding was poor, the batting sorrier. But was this was only to be expected? especially after they have changed all but their name and captain…

In the 11 year history of the Premier League, the worlds most lucrative T20 cricket league, RCB, once owned by the flamboyant Vijay Mallya and his United Spirits and now by Diageo, the international spirits brand, have never won the premier league title even once… They were runners-up thrice – in 2009, 2011 and 2016, and made the playoffs twice in 2010 and 2015 finishing 4th and 5th out of 8 teams in those years. In the rest of the years, they hardly made it to the playoffs. In fact, 2017 and 2018 were the worst, with RCB finishing 8th and 7th out of 8 teams in the league in those years, and this year, despite a revamp of everything and everyone barring the captain, ABDV and the name, nothing seems to have changed. Despite being owned by a spirits major, their spirits seemed especially low after the initial onslaught by Warner and Bairstow in the SRH game. In fact it looked like the spirits were haunting them, no matter which ground they played on.

Is it the coaching team, is it the management team, is it the selection of the team at the auctions, internal constraints or dissensions, or is it a captain’s jinx? Fans are beginning to ask the question. Let’s examine the record… Over the 11 seasons of the IPL in which it has participated, the RCB has been majorly captained by four captains, three of whom have captained India too. Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and of course the current captain Virat Kohli. Dravid had 28% win record, while Anil Kumble had 54% win record, Vettori, the only overseas captain to captain the side for two seasons on the trot had 53.5 % win record. Kohli, unarguably, one of the best batsmen in the game today, has 48% win record. But then he has captained the side the longest – over 5 years now – since 2011 and over 96 matches. With the world cup looming, Kohli and his team lost the Australian bi lateral ODI series in India and now he seems to be on losing streak in this years IPL. His frustration is beginning to show if his outburst, though definitely legitimate given the level of the tournament, is any indication. But aggression on the field of play is different from aggression off it and the only thing that matters at the end of the day for the Captain, the team management and especially the fans is the result. Maybe a fight to the finish will also endear them to the fans, but even that is not forthcoming – its abject surrender.

The problem perhaps lies in the batting rather than the bowling. The batting is too dependent on the two stalwarts of the team – ABD and Kohli. If they fail, all else fails. Hetmeyer and Dubey were brought it to reduce that dependence, but they have yet to fire. Both are extremely talented, but the pressure of taking on the mantle when Kohli and ABD fail at the crease, which is bound to happen often enough in this form of the game is telling.

Its election season and the common man is the focus. While the netas are focussed on the common man, the common man in Karnataka and Rajasthan are focussed on their Royals – Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers… As of today, both the royals have Zilch to show for their efforts. Is time to time to change the name from Royal to common? After all Delhi Daredevils seemed to have upped their game with a change of name…

All the fans want is something to cheer about at the end of 40 overs… at least once in way… and hope that moment arrives tonight at 8.00 PM and continues..

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Brian Fernandes

Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 30 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. Journalism, poetry, and feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangaluru and Bengaluru. Besides, he is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of and a designated Distinguished Toast Master.

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