Virat Kohli, and the RCB turnaround

Virat Kohli for RCB, IPL 2024 (Image: IPL)

It’s been 16 seasons without a title. And the 17th was also starting to look bad before things changed, and how. Four wins on the trot, and RCB, all of a sudden, have a lifeline. Yes, they will have to depend on the results of some other games, but at least they have opened the door. With some luck, things could go the RCB way, and that’s a huge positive after what was a horrific start to the tournament. All of a sudden, the play-offs seem possible, and Thursday night’s victory was yet more reinforcement.

All they need to do is win the two remaining games and with a NRR better than others, and it may well take them into the play-offs. And once there, it could well be that they fulfil something they have been after for 17 years. For, once in the last four, it is just about two good games. Play at your best in those final two matches, and all that you have done in the past is history. RCB and Virat Kohli will know it well. They know they have an opportunity, and need to make it count.

What does this mean for Kohli? Will he now push himself that extra bit more in the last two games of the IPL? How will Faf du Plessis push that little extra as skipper to get the best out of his players?

First things first: there are far too many instances in sport where legends have not won a particular tournament. Ivan Lendl never won a Wimbledon title, while Cristiano Ronaldo has not won the World Cup. None of this makes them bad players. What it does is make the quest that much more interesting. Whether he can ever win the IPL will continue to haunt Kohli and his fans. Will push him more till he succeeds. Playing a team sport makes it that much harder for Kohli, but that’s where he needs to come up with plans. How does he control this campaign from here on? He has batted quite brilliantly, and has been the best Indian batter on show. Does RCB need a finisher, and are they too dependent on the top three? If Kohli, du Plessis and Rajat Patidar get out, do they have much batting to be hopeful about? Have Cameron Green, Will Jacks or Mahipal Lomror finally started to fulfil expectations?


While Dinesh Karthik was very impressive at the end of the innings against Gujarat Titans, the middle order hasn’t yielded much for the Royal Challengers all season. At no point in the tournament have they looked comfortable, and that has cost them dear.

What RCB have also done is bettered the bowling. With Mohammed Siraj starting to look better and with others finding their groove, they seem to have enough resources to match teams at the business end. And that’s what streamlines things for du Plessis, Kohli and Andy Flower. What is more important, however, is for du Plessis and Flower to identify how and what they need to do in case Kohli and Patidar don’t fire. That they have been in good form is beyond doubt. At the same time, it is human to have a slip-up, and the truth is RCB can’t afford it.

Those 16 seasons without a title is proof the team have lacked something, and it is now the job of the captain and coach to ensure that the opportunity that has suddenly presented itself is not wasted. Time and again, RCB have started well, and year on year, that’s what has kept the fans hopeful. But now, after four straight wins, they seem to have found their mojo. A perfect home stretch could mean they do get there eventually. If you are an RCB fan, there is every reason to hope. Now, more than ever.

Also Read: The picture behind why Banned: A Social Media Trial had to be written