So far, the Indian Premier League season has been a better one for Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, the Virat Kohli-led team would be aware that the UAE-leg will be a fresh beginning and they would need to reconsider the team balance as there will be a few fresh faces joining the side as well. The wickets on offer will also not be the same since the tournament has been relocated. With 10 points from seven matches before the season got suspended, Bangalore have given themselves a very good chance of reaching the Playoffs. However, they would want nothing but the trophy this time around.
Here is a quick recap of RCB's season so far:
RCB vs MI- 9 April 2021- Bangalore win by 1 run
A thriller to start off their campaign against the defending champions Mumbai Indians but a narrow 1-run win against a top side like Mumbai gave them the necessary belief needed to do well in the competition. MI posted 159 in 20 overs after they lost the toss. While they looked set to get a few more, RCB pulled things back off nicely thanks to Harshal Patel's (5/27).
In response, the big three- Virat Kohli (33 off 29), Glenn Maxwell (39 off 28) and AB de Villiers (48 off 27 balls) all contributed but a few wickets towards the end meant the match went to the wire but eventually, Bangalore won.
RCB vs SRH- 14 April 2021- Bangalore win by 6 runs
Taking confidence from their win over the Mumbai Indians. RCB defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by six runs in yet another thrilling game. While RCB were asked to bat first this time around, Glenn Maxwell scored a half-century after failing miserably in the previous season for Punjab. Other than Maxwell's 59, Kohli also chipped in with a 33 but other batters failed to make any significant impact as Bangalore scored just 149.
Everyone was keen to seen how Bangalore's bowlers perform since they had a poor record in the recent seasons. While the chase seemed to be a walk in the park for the Orange Army with David Warner and Manish Pandey, a dramatic collapse ensued with Shahbaz Ahmed (3/7), Mohammed Siraj (25/2) and Harshal 2/25 being the wreckers in chief for Bangalore.
RCB vs KKR- 18 April 2021- Bangalore win by 38 runs
With three wins in a row, RCB made their intentions pretty clear that they were not going to stop. Not only were their batters doing the job but their bowlers were also impressive. Both of them came together in the third match against KKR and as a result, Bangalore tasted a dominant 38-run win. Opting to bat, RCB scored 204/4 thanks to another superb partnership from Maxwell (78 off 49) and AB de Villiers (76 off 34). Bangalore then bowled out the opposition for 166/8. While Kyle Jamieson was expensive, he picked up three wickets, Harshal and Chahal also picked two wickets each.
RCB vs RR- 22 April 2021- Bangalore win by 10 wickets
Clearly, the Bangalore side was loving the balance of their side and all their bases seemed more or less covered with just their openers looking a bit out of touch. And when one of the openers got going in the fourth match against Rajasthan Royals, the result was a 10-wicket convincing win. Opting to field first, they kept RR's total to 177/9 in 20 overs but Padikkal's maiden unbeaten hundred along with Kohli's 72 helped them seal the match in 16.2 overs.
RCB vs CSK- 25 April 2021- Bangalore lose by 69 runs
It took a Ravindra Jadeja special to end RCB's winning run. While Jadeja smashed five sixes in Harshal Patel's final over to propel CSK's total to 191, he returned with the ball to take 3/13 and restricted the opposition to just 122/9 in their 20 overs. Jaddu even pouched a few catches and ended up earning the Player of the Match for his all-around performance. After Chennai had opted to bat first, it looked like they would end a few runs short of what was being told as the par score on the wicket. However, Jadeja had other ideas as he single-handedly changed the complexion of the game.
RCB vs DC- 27 April 2021- Bangalore win by 1 run
In the next match against Delhi Capitals, the win seemed to be slipping away from Bangalore but they somehow claimed a one-run win over DC. Asked to bat first, they scored 171 thanks to a masterclass from De Villiers who scored 75. In response, Rishabh Pant (58*) and Shimron Hetmyer (53) tried hard but couldn't take DC over the line as they lost in heartbreaking fashion by one run.
RCB vs PBKS- 30 April 2021- RCB lose by 34 runs
While it was Jaddu's brilliance which snatched the win away from Bangalore in their first defeat, this time it was Harpreet Brar who picked up the wickets of the big three- Virat Kohli, Maxwell and ABD to help Punjab register a memorable win. PBKS posted 179/5, courtesy of KL Rahul (91 off 57 balls) and Chris Gayle (46 off 24) after being asked to bat first. But Brar's spell took the impetus out of Bangalore's innings and they never really recovered. Harshal did make 31 off 13 balls but the Haryana all-rounder only managed to reduce the margin of RCB's defeat.
Bangalore will now resume their campaign against the Kolkata Knight Riders on September 20 at Abu Dhabi.