Inconsistency, not incompetence
It was disheartening to watch our team lose to Mumbai Indians last evening. Even more disappointing was the one-sided manner in which we lost.
After the delayed start, the crucial match did start and we failed to get a grip on the proceedings from very early in the game. Despite a scratchy Mclaren at one end and Sachin's early departure, we just couldn't stifle the MI batting and later on a terrible batting display put us out of the game.
Such a display brought up the question that is hotly debated after every RCB defeat. "What ails RCB?"
We have a real deep and star studded batting line up. The likes of Dravid, Kallis, Virat, Uthappa, Pieterson, Taylor and the very talented Manish Pandey, are amply talented to destroy any bowling attack and they have done the destruction on more than one occassion. However, at the same time, they have collectively failed to get going on an equal number of occassions. So, what should we think? It certainly is not the lack of fire power. I would not criticize any player of the team in particular, but, it is visible that very often the players seemed to approach the game from their own mindset and that proved their own undoing. Whether it is the much criticized slow batting approach of Jacques Kallis or the ill timed reverse sweep attempt of Robin Uthappa or the reckless shots of some batsmen that cost us the game against DC, it all comes down to only one thing and that is 'inconsistency.'
We have not been showing the workmen like approach, the relentless clinical precision that the MI has shown game after game. Their performance in the league stage has been by far, the best so far in the three IPL editions and they seem to back themselves to win a game from any situation.
The DC who were almost down and out, resting at the bottom of the table in the company of KXIP, have suddenly revived themselves. Their batting order is clicking, their bowlers are bowling superbly and we have contributed quite a lot to their resurgence by giving them two wins in five days. Why are we not performing to the best of our abilities at this business end of the tournament. We have lost five out of the last 8 games in the league stage. This has resulted in our fate now hanging in balance and dependent on how the other teams fare in their games today. MI are through to the SF and at least one out of DD vs DC today will be there. We have a hope of making it through as the 3rd or 4th team based on the NRR, but, the issue of inconsistency has to be addressed immediately as we can't afford to play SF like this. If CSK win their game against KXIP today, then we will be heading into the SF as the fourth place team or if they lose then we will be third and will play the winner of DD vs DC. We have lost to DD and DC on both occassions in the league stage so they will have the psychological advantage over us and even MI beat us comprehensively yesterday so they will be on a high too.
We also seem to have not got a settled team combination till now. Ross Taylor, though, is a great player and an amazing striker of the ball, still, he is playing on past reputation. In the games since his arrival, he has terribly failed to get going and that has been one of the reasons for our debacles. We can all criticize Kallis, but, we should remember that we have lost many a matches where the other batsmen were in a very good position to win it. A player sitting in the middle order and failing to score match after match is a really big burden. Manish Pandey was going very well until he was rested and ever since his comeback, he seems to have forgotten his class.
I love RCB and anything less than an RCB win this season will disappoint me. I don't want the disappointment and I hope there will be a champion performance up next and consistently, enabling us to win the SF and the Finals. Go RCB!