Bangalore, May 22: Royal Challengers Bangalore have yet again failed to bring home the IPL trophy. In five seasons, it is so near yet so far for the Vijay Mallya-owned franchise.
RCB's Results In IPL 5
From a dismal beginning to IPL in 2008, RCB bounced back in the next year with a runner-up finish. Two years later, they came agonisingly close to lifting the trophy but were second best to Chennai Super Kings in 2011. This year, they failed to reach the play-offs. RCB ended fifth on the points table.
Looking at the current season, RCB were one of the fancied teams. With overflowing batting riches, Bangalore team had the wherewithal to go all the way to the final on May 27, but they were knocked out by one of the bottom-placed outfits, Deccan Chargers, on May 20.
As IPL 5 began in Chennai on April 4, RCB played their first match at home on April 7 and began with a win over Delhi Daredevils. However, they endured hat-trick of losses before putting the campaign back on track.
With Chris Gayle's explosive batting at the top of the order, the opposition bowlers feared the tall Jamaican. He treated all bowlers with disdain, smashing 59 sixes and a league-topping 733 runs. But despite Gayle's swashbuckling cricket, RCB could not feature among the top four best teams.
Another batsman who stood out was AB de Villiers. With his attacking and innovative batting, the South African One Day captain was hailed as the best batsman in the business. The way he destroyed compatriot Dale Steyn in one of the games in Bangalore, will always be one of the highlights of IPL 5.
Virat Kohli, who was handed the captaincy responsibilities after Daniel Vettori was out of form, slowly found his form in the latter stages of the tournament.
RCB's main worry was their bowling. While Zaheer Khan and Muttiah Muralitharan were exceptional with the ball, there was useful contribution from R Vinay Kumar. But RCB was also dependent on their batting to win them matches and in particular Gayle.
In a virtual quarter-final match against Deccan Chargers, RCB fell short by 9 runs while chasing 133. They were edged out by Chennai with a better net run rate after both teams finished with 17 points each.
Of 16 matches, RCB won 8 and had one no result game against Chennai in Bangalore.
Just before few days RCB had exited from the league, there came the shocking incident of their batsman, Luke Pomersbach involved for alleged molestation of an American woman in a five-star hotel in Delhi.
Pomersbach was arrested and later released on bail. He is still battling various charges under different IPC sections. This off-field incident rocked IPL as a whole among other issues.
Among other reasons for RCB's failures, the team's over-dependence on Gayle was the main factor. The next was bowling.
RCB's Top Five Batsmen and Bowlers in IPL 5
Chris Gayle 733 runs (14 innings)
Virat Kohli 364 runs (15 innings)
AB de Villiers 319 runs (13 innings)
Tillakaratne Dilshan 285 runs (9 innings)
Mayank Agarwal 225 (12 innings)
Vinay Kumar 19 wickets (14 innings)
Zaheer Khan 17 wickets (15 innings)
Muttiah Muralitharan 15 wickets (10 innings)
Harshal Patel 9 wickets (11 innings)
KP Appanna 6 wickets (6 innings)
Previous Editions Team Performances
2010: Third Place