The Search for Stability and Impact Continues

The Royal Challengers Bangalore humiliatingly lost to the Mumbai Indians on Tuesday night. Their batters, especially skipper Faf du Plessis and Aussie all-rounder Glenn Maxwelldid a good job of taking the team’s total to 199 after some early setbacks. The problem though, once again, was the team’s bowling. Owing to a poor bowling display, Mi were able to chase down the target in just 16.3 overs, with Suryakumar Yadav being the hero of the chase with his 83 off just 35 balls.

Season after season, RCB have faced the exact same problem. Batting has anyway never been a problem for the franchise, but even after having some of the best bowlers, the franchise never stops leaking runs. If you look at their bowling roster from Tuesday night , it contained some of the biggest champion names in the form of Josh Hazlewood, Mohammed SirajHarshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, and others. This bowling attack is perfectly capable of thrashing any batting order in the world, but given their recent performances, it seems like no total is safe for RCB.

The Patidar fix

However, there is a bigger problem that RCB have faced this season which has garnered the attention of fans and experts alike. Throughout the season, RCB have struggled to find a suitable number 3 in their batting order. The position was originally expected to be held by Rajat Patidar. However, Patidar got injured right before the league started, thus marking the beginning of RCB’s trouble.

Coming in to bat at 3 last season, Patidar was the backbone of RCB’s batting lineup alongside Virat Kohli and skipper Faf du Plessis. The right-handed batter from Madhya Pradesh played just 8 games for the franchise that season, but the amount of impact he left on the team was immeasurable. In those 8 games, Patidar put up 333 runs at an average of 55.50 coupled with a strike rate of 152.75. This also included a cracking century against Lukcnow Super Giants.

The Number 3 Woes

But, with Patidar’s injury, RCB have been searching for a suitable replacement but have not been able to find one. So far, RCB have tried 6 different players in the number 3 position, but none of them have looked like a convincing option. In 11 games, all these number 3 options have collectively scored just 132 runs, at an average of 12 and a strike rate of 133.33. However, if you remove that one innings of 59 off 29 balls by Glenn Maxwell, this comes down to 73 runs in 10 games at an average of 7.3 and a strike rate of 104. The details of the same have been given in the table below:

Match No. Batter Name Runs Scored Balls Faced Opponent
1. Dinesh Karthik 0 3 Chennai Super Kings
2. Michael Bracewell 19 18 Kolkata Knight Riders
3. Glenn Maxwell 59 29 Lucknow Super Giants
4. Mahipal Lomror 26 18 Delhi Capitals
5. Mahipal Lomror 0 5 Chennai Super Kings
6. Glenn Maxwell 9 1 Punjab Kings
7. Shahbaz Ahmed 2 4 Rajasthan Royals
8. Shahbaz Ahmed 2 5 Kolkata Knight Riders
9. Anuj Rawat 9 11 Lucknow Super Giants
10. Glenn Maxwell 0 1 Delhi Capitals
11. Anuj Rawat 6 4 Mumbai Indians
Total 132 99

As a result of this, a lot of pressure has fallen upon the big three: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis, and Glenn Maxwell. While the 3 have been among the runs for the team in IPL 2023, there have been a few instances where the team needed the other batters to step in and they failed to do so. With just 3 games remaining in the league stage for the team, RCB need to gear up or else risk losing a playoff birth. RCB are in 7th place on the IPL 2023 Points Table, having lost 3 of their last 5 games. It remains to be seen if the team can address these crucial issues and regain their winning momentum in the remaining 3 matches of the tournament.

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