IPL 2024: How Virat Kohli has symbolised RCB’s resurgence | Cricket News

Stars and performances align as team notches five wins on the trot
BENGALURU: Over the past two weeks, performances, stars and luck have aligned perfectly for Royal Challengers Bengaluru, who have won five consecutive matches to stay afloat in the Indian Premier League. A 47-run win against Delhi Capitals on Sunday helped them jump to the fifth position on the points table, with their final match – a big-ticket home contest against Chennai Super Kings next weekend being decisive.
On Sunday it seemed even the weather in Bengaluru wanted to play its part in RCB’s run of luck. While heavy rain lashed many parts of the city before the match, the cloud cover did not open above the M Chinnaswamy stadium until a couple of hours after RCB had sealed their win.
Faf du Plessis and his men’s campaign has been divided into two parts. In the first, where they lost seven of their outings, RCB had just one close contest-losing by a solitary run to Kolkata Knight Riders. Most of the matches in this phase was highlighted by erratic bowling, misfiring batters, their massive investments at the auction backfiring and team strategies which were baffling.


But the tide turned on April 25, when their bowlers defended 206 for a 35-run victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The win also marked the return to form of Cameron Green (2/23 in four overs), their Rs 17.5-crore indulgence during the transfer window. On Sunday, Green, the man of the match again, played a pivotal role with an unbeaten 24-ball 32 and four over during which he went for a measly 19 runs and picked up a wicket.
After the halfway mark, the coaching staff headed by Andy Flower, a man with a T20 winning reputation, have been able to turn the assembly of stars and domestic players into a team which performs in unison. While Virat Kohli, with 661 runs, has continued with his purple patch, Rajat Patidar, who has been pushed down the batting order, has adjusted to his middle-order role. Resting an awfully out of form Glenn Maxwell has freed up a foreigner slot which has been used wisely. On that count Will Jacks has been a good value-add.


With no spinner of pedigree in the line-up Karn Sharma was an option, while 33-year-old Swapnil Singh hadn’t inspired confidence. But in the 2.0 version of the Bengaluru-based franchise, the left-arm spinner has opened bowling with confidence.
Summing up his team’s journey, Green later said, “This year there has been so many high scores.”


Elaborating further, skipper Du Plessis said, “The first of the season, things didn’t quite come together. Now, from a batting and bowling perspective we have been able to put it together. A lot of work has gone behind the scenes, and we are getting it right and I feel there is a lot more variety in our bowling now. Yash (Dayal) and Lockie (Ferguson) have been exceptional the last few games. We want to play a style of cricket which is bold and put some performances together and keep going.”
Although RCB’s qualification hinges on a big win against CSK and the performance of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Lucknow Super Giants, their comeback will be the biggest positive for the team this season.


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