Bangalore, Apr 16: Royal Challengers Bangalore are facing the heat. It may be just the initial stages of IPL 5, but the Bangalore outfit is already under pressure with just one win from four games.
Lack of all-rounders and over dependence on few individuals is affecting the Vijay Mallya-owned team. So far, they won against Delhi Daredevils and since then completed a hat-trick of losses, against Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
Last year, RCB's entire campaign was all about Chris Gayle's six-hitting show. When one thought of RCB, the first things which came to their mind was Gayle. Without Gayle, RCB could not have reached the final. And in the title clash it was proved as he failed in a big chase and the team ended up as second best to Chennai Super Kings.
“Barely recovering frm d unnecessary loss 2 CSK am shocked @ todays loss 2 RR Whilst congratulating RR its time 4 serious introspection @ RCB,” tweeted (@TheVijayMallya) owner Mallya after Sunday's loss.
Apart from Gayle, the other two big names for RCB in batting, are Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. If the trio fails, there is no other batsman who can dominate the opposition bowlers.
Bangalore boy Mayank Agarwal has shone in the limited opportunities but he has not converted those brisk starts into big scores.
Saurabh Tiwary is the biggest disappointment for the team from last year. Having spent $1.6 million on Tiwary, RCB are forced to keep in the squad. But one does not understand why the young Jharkhand batsman is not axed from the playing XI.
RCB fans reacted strongly to the non-performance of Tiwary as they took to twitter to express their anger. But Siddarth Mallya, Director of RCB, backed his batsman.
“guys, go easy on the Tiwari bashing. He knows he needs to improve,” Siddartha (@sidharthamallya) tweeted.
“the middle order just isn't firing and is becoming a problem for us...we really need to address this and move forwards. I understand ur frustration with this loss and can guarantee the boys will do everything possible to turn things around...” he added.
If RCB want to give Tiwary a long run and do not bother about his runs, then why not try out some new player. Even if the new guy fails, don't bother, just like you have been doing with Tiwary. At least you will be giving a chance to another players and who knows, he might be better than Tiwary. You can never judge a player by making hims sit in the dugout or training in the 'nets.'
RCB have batsmen, Arun Karthik, M Gautam, who is also a wicketkeeper, Asad Pathan (all-rounder) and a 17-year-old Vijay Zol.
Pathan (no relation with Yusuf and Irfan), got to play few games last year. He is a big-hitter who can also bowl. RCB can try out this Gujarat right-hander in Tuesday's game against Pune.
Arun Karthik, the lad from Tamil Nadu, shot to fame last year in Champions League with a last-ball six off Daniel Christian. He is yet to play this season. Gautham is Karnatka's stumper in Ranji Trophy. He is a handy batsman.
Not many have heard of Zol. He is a left-hander, who made national headlines last year with a mammoth 451 not out in the Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy. Zol, playing for Maharashtra constructed this record knock in a time of close to 11 hours.
That knock was instrumental in him getting RCB ticket. Zol himself was quoted as saying that Anil Kumble was impressed after watching him play.
It will be great for this 17-year-old to play in the IPL and that too in front of big crowds. Zol will be hoping to get at least one game and why not. If a player is in the squad, RCB should back them when the team is not doing well.
Among bowlers, there are Ryan Ninan (offspinner), Syed Mohammad (left-arm spin), KP Appanna (left-arm spin) and Karun Nair (offspinner). Mohammad and Appanna have played few games for RCB and have not done that badly. These players are also waiting to be on the field again.
Captain Daniel Vettori rued the absence of a fifth bowler and blamed the middle order for the defeat against Rajsthan Royals.
It is high time RCB tried out some domestic players in the squad. Asad Pathan could be the answer or even Karthik or Zol. They need to pick and back them.