On the 21st May,2011, there was an unmistakable passion every time the crowd went wild chanting “Aaar Cee Bee!”. Although RCB ended up being second best in the tournament, RCB had won back its fans heart. The fanatic following that characterizes an RCB team was there for all to see. To me, RCB had already won it.
They say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”. And RCB only epitomized these words. IPL IV started shakily for RCB even before the first ball was bowled. The opposition franchisees bid heavily for Karnataka’s local stars Uthappa,Dravid and Vinay Kumar and eventually RCB had to lose out on Bangalore’s favourite sons. Although it cash a shadow of self-doubt on every RCBian, the emergence of the tall and mean Sreenath Aravind under the wings of Zaheer Khan soon infused the local colour into RCB camp.Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to say Sreenath Aravind was one of the finds of the tournament.
The IPL think tank proved that it was strategically the best in the tournament. Virat Kohli, widely tipped as future Indian captain was the only retained player in the side and at the end of the tournament the gentlemen in RCB would have patted themselves. The youngster not only provided stability to the middle order but also showed glimpses of Jonty Rhodes with his exceptional fielding. And to cap it, he led the side admirably in the absence of RCB’s regular captain, Daniel Vettori who Is one of the finest captains in the cricketing world.
After a lot of talk off the field, finally when the action back it was disaster at the start for RCB. Back to back defeats, must win situation to stay afloat in the competition, questions raised about the team’s composition, fitness of players, the board’s commitment and a serious injury to one of RCB’s strike bowler Dirk Nannes. And so often than not, this was the moment to spur RCB. And in walked a dark burly man from Jamaica, Christopher Gayle. Was he ego hurt for not being picked during the auctions? What did he want to prove the world? What did Dr. Vijay Mallya offer him? Nobody knows! But seldom has the world witnessed imposing himself on a tournament of this stature as Gayle had on IPL IV. Every time the ball kissed Gayle’s brandishing blade, the clouds trembled with the fear of getting hurt. A certain Parameshwaran certainly has tale to tell his grandchildren.Although somebody’s ego did hurt that day, RCB made sure the environment didnt get hurt by wearing green shirts thereby becoming the first professional sports outfit to support the green clause.
Slowly but surely, the RCB juggernaut fell in place and a beautiful run of 7 victories on a trot which not only is an IPL record also ensured that RCB topped the league table. The manner in which RCB vanquished an MI side which comprised of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar,Keiron Pollard is something every RCB fan will treasure for a long time.Just when dreams of bringing the IPL trophy to namma Bengaluru began to look real, RCB fell short to a much stronger CSK side. Although, RCB was clearly disadvantaged given that it was playing its second high intensity match within 48 hours, staying true to RCB tradition the team and fans accepted it gracefully.
Sure, we didn’t get the trophy but we didn’t hurt our pride either and chant “Aaar Cee Bee” another day..