Ricky Ponting tried to throw light on RCB's reason for failure this season. The former Australian captain believes that KL Rahul's absence proved expensive for the RCB side and Virat Kohli's dismal performance this season has resulted in the southern outfit languishing at the bottom of the table.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have been at a completely unexpected nadir this season. The three-time runner-up of the tournament have not been able to make any impact this season and have won just 2 out of 13 matches.
The former Australian captain Ricky Ponting pinpointed KL Rahul's absence for RCB this season as the reason for this slump. Last season, Rahul opened the innings for the RCB side six times and scored more than 35 on four occasions. Rahul scored 397 runs in the last tournament at an average of over 44 and also proved useful at the number 4 spot for his side.
Ricky Ponting shared his views on how Rahul's absence has hampered RCB's performance this tournament with cricket.com.au.
“KL Rahul is a massive loss for them.He had a terrific back-end to last season. He did some amazing things last year so him not being at the top has been a big loss. He and Virat were a pretty formidable opening pair last year. You couldn’t argue with what they did last year and they’ve played a bit of cricket with each other in the Indian Test team for the few months leading into the IPL.”, Pointing told cricket.com.au.
“So they would have had a good dynamic there at the top of the order and unfortunately that’s been missing for them. But you have to have replacements for just about every position so that’s where they’ve come undone.” he further added.
While Rahul was successful last year, it was also Virat Kohli's four centuries in the tournament that provided the inspiration to RCB. It is not just them, though, with Gayle, de Villiers and Watson all drawing a collective blank this season.
“Their big name players just aren’t standing up like they did last year,” Ponting said. “They got on an amazing roll at the back end of last year’s tournament when Kohli was playing out of his skin, de Villiers was playing well, Gayle was chipping in and Watson was doing a good job with bat and ball.
“But so far Kohli has done next to nothing, there have been flashes in the pan from Gayle and AB de Villiers, but the consistency just hasn’t been there."
The RCB skipper won the orange cap last season as he amassed 973 runs scoring at an average of above 81 but Kohli has managed to score just 250 runs this season from the 9 innings he has played.
The Australian Shane Watson has lost his wicket taking rhythm this season and has picked up just 4 wickets in
“Watson’s the other one who hasn’t had that consistency and match-winning performances this season that he’s had in previous seasons. And he’s been in and out of the side and up and down the batting order to a degree. They’ve got some issues there. It’s the same conversation we have about them every year; they rely on too few, as they have done for a while.
“Quite often those few have been quite consistent and been good enough to win quite a lot of games for them. But this season it just hasn’t panned out that way.”