The RCB had started IPL 9 with great expectations, due in large part to the most explosive 1-2-3-4 punch batting lineup, perhaps in the history of T20 cricket. The destructive Chris Gayle, the surreal AB de Villiers, arguably the best T20 all-rounder in Shane Watson, and the incredible Virat Kohli, would put any all-star batting lineup to shame. With a backbone of exciting domestic players including highly-rated batsman Sarfaraz Khan, spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, wicket-keeper batsman KL Rahul, spinner/all-rounder Parvez Rasool, and all-rounder Stuart Binny, the RCB has a mix of former and future Indian team talent.
However, the RCB, at least until recently, have disappointed this season. Due in part to injuries to their two key overseas bowlers- Mitchell Starc and Samuel Badree, the RCB find themselves in the bottom half of a table that they at one point would have felt they could dominate. A run of poor form by Gayle has put added pressure on the remaining batsmen, and with a weakened bowling attack, the RCB frequently seem to be a couple of players short. But what they lack in depth, the RCB can more than make up in talent, determination of their captain, and the sheer genius quotient that Kohli, Watson and de Villiers can instill in an innings.
If Gayle regains form, and a couple of their bowlers get their groove going (currently the line-up is too dependent on Watson), then maybe the RCB can recover somewhat. It’s been a difficult season for the RCB with regard to uncertainty and concerns over the ownership of the team.
Now, on-field their backs are against the wall with virtually every game a must-win from here on out. It’s still possible in this wide-open IPL 2016 and no one better than Kohli to lead a chase that can afford no more stutters.