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How RCB championed challenges thrown at them to reach into playoffs? Virat Kohli not lone ranger in dream run

RCB were written off. They had just one win in their first eight matches. RCB needed not only wins but by big margins. Then came a story of a magical turn around. A story which looked a dream three weeks ago.

Written By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Updated on: May 20, 2024 1:48 IST
RCB made a sensational comeback in IPL 2024.
Image Source : INDIA TV RCB made a sensational comeback in IPL 2024.

Six losses in seven games, rock bottom at the points table. Many had written the Royal Challengers Bengaluru off. There was hardly any chance of RCB making it to the top four from the bottom. About three weeks were left for the league stage to end and they were at the last. But then came one of the greatest stories of comeback in the Indian Premier League. Win, Win, Win, Win, Win and Win. 

What RCB achieved on Saturday against Chennai Super Kings gave their fans what they wanted. But how did they champion the losses thrown at them? 

RCB's dream turn-around

RCB needed magic but there were magicians up against them in the form of Sunrisers Hyderabad next. A side which was blowing bowling line-ups away for fun and RCB's notorious bowling was exposed in the first seven eight matches. No more space for error as it would have all but ended their hopes even mathematically.

Kohli not a lone ranger as stars shine from other parts too

Kohli was not the lone ranger in this magic turn-around even though he was a vital cog in his team's resurgence. Like in 2016, he was crucial in another late surge by RCB. This time he shut out the critics, who used to say on his strike rate after the powerplay, especially against the spinners.

In his first nine games, Kohli struck at 123.57 against spin and then at 167.69 in the next four before the CSK game. He took down the spinners using his slog sweep, which he brought it out after hardly using it before.

But there were contributions from the likes of Rajat Patidar and Will Jacks too. Patidar was vital in this six-game resurgence. Out of the five innings he has batted in these six wins, Patidar has made scores in excess of fifty three times. 

The way he used to toy with the spinners took a lot of toll off Kohli and the others. He has made 194 runs against spinners at an average of 97 at a whopping strike rate of 210.86. He is the second-fastest spin basher in the tournament in the list of players who have scored more than 100 runs only short of Abhishek Sharma. Swapnil Singh was the chief architect in the spin department he used to choke the teams.

Will Jacks was another crucial name in RCB's charge with the bat. It was his association with Patidar of 102-run partnership off 48 balls against KKR that gave RCB hope of power in the batting despite losing to KKR by a run.

After that win against SRH, they defeated GT in style. RCB created the record of fastest chase of the 200-plus target in IPL with Jacks making a sensational 100 from 41 balls. The momentum started to come but there was more needed.

The reverse fixture against GT was won by a splendid bowling effort from Mohammed Siraj, Yash Dayal and Vijaykumar Vyshak, who shared six wickets for only 73 runs in 11.3 overs.

In the next game against PBKS, Kohli showed the way with a 47-ball 92 while Patidar smashed 55 from 23 balls. RCB believed they could get this. They did not let their foot off the gas and then outclassed a Rishabh Pant-less Delhi Capitals next. Then came the last one against CSK, a virtual knockout in every sense. 

The batters showed mettle with an all-guns-blazing approach to never let the momentum slip as they made 218. CSK were in trouble early and hardly could recover as RCB defeated them by 27 runs in a thrilling game. Though they were challenged the bowlers held their nerves with Yash Dayal defending 17 off the final over which were needed for CSK to qualify

With this win, they reached what they hardly dreamt of. A playoff spot which was out of grasp three weeks ago, was now in their grasp and RCB got a 'Q' against their name, championing the challenges thrown at them.

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