CanTHeeRava
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PHASE 3 : CanTHeeRava 's review for rc's performance
The Royal Challengers were on a down hill slope during the III phase of IPL 3 and scraping into the semi finals just by the virtue of their healthy net runrate did not help either. It showed that whenever they won a match they won it well but it also showed that they lost some matches very badly. The latter is a bad habit of RCBians, which cost them dearly in IPL 1 and unfortunately the same recurred during the important phases of IPL 3. I would argue that in cricket's 20-20 format, there is nothing called as 'winning momentum', although ironically almost all the team captains in the tournament kept on referring to the term 'momentum' whenever they won a match. However there is ample evidence to suggest that 'losing momentum' does exist in cricket irrespective of its format. It is similar to a batsman struggling to find form. When a batsman is in good form, he could still fail in two successive matches (due to either his own stupidity or a brilliant individual opponent) and a similar thing happened to the Mumbai Indians during their crunch final encounter. On the other hand, even after winning some matches in the second phase, the Royal Challengers failed to make it to the finals because they were suffering from a slump in form. Crickers always find it difficult to come back to good form because when they try to do that they are aware of their bad form. Where as slipping into a bad patch is a much more mysterious process which cricketers cannot avoid because they never feel it. I would like to add that during the second/third phase, Anil Kumble made a lot of changes to his playing line up. Although 20-20 format is considered to be very fluid and there are no specialists in it, Kumble's strategy to shuffle the batting order during the critical phase of the tournament did not work. To be fair to Kumble, his own performances were from the top draw through out the tournament. He set plenty of examples for fair and bold play. However, many of his team mates, especially Praveen Kumar and Manish Pandey did not fulfill their captain's faith in them. I would like to narrate an incident from an RCB match during the second phase of IPL3. Technically this match is put under second phase. I see this as a match that belonged to the third phase. I could hear Kumble through the stump microphones when he was batting during one of the matches against Deccan Chargers (match 46). We were nine down chasing 151 set by DC and we had almost lost the match. He shouted at Appanna in Kannada as "BaarO BaarO' when he was trying to steel a second run. Appanna failed to make his end and was run out. RCB lost the match. For me this incident summed up the story of our team during the final phase of IPL3. Kumble was still trying as he always does. The fact that he had to bat several times during the critical phase of the tournament including the semifinals (mind you, during phase I Dravid did not get a chance to bat on many occasions!) showed that RCB were struggling. As a consolation prize to their over all performance levels, RCB did manage to qualify for the Champion's league. Personally, I really felt happy for Vinay Kumar, who deservedly won a place in the national team. During this IPL, RCB had several players from Karnataka and as a result I was lucky to listen to their conversations in Kannada on the field.

 

 
Phases Match Result

Phase 1 from
3rd May to
7th May

RC v/s KKR
(14th March)
Lost
  RC v/s KXI
(16th March)
Won
  RC v/s RR
(18th March)
Won
  RC v/s MI
(20th March)
Won
  RC v/s CSK
(23rd March)
Won
  RC v/s DDD
(25th March)
Lost
  RC v/s CSK
(31th March)
Lost

Phase 2 from
8th May to
12th May
RC v/s KXI
(2nd April)
Won
  RC v/s DDD
(4th April)
Lost
  RC v/s DC
(8th April)
Lost
  RC v/s KKR
(10th April)
Won
  RC v/s DC
(12th April)
Lost
  RC v/s RR
(14th April)
Won
  RC v/s MI
(17th April)
Lost

Phase 3 from
13th May to
17th May
RC v/s MI
(Semifinal)
(21st April)
Lost
  RC v/s DC
(3-4 playoff)
(24th April)
Won