Top-order batting woes are biting Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) big time but the star-studded franchise has indicated they are not yet willing to bite the bullet of benching a couple of their stalwarts, even as they lurch from one defeat to another.
The latest defeat against Rajasthan Royals at the MCA on Tuesday, where RCB couldn't overhaul a modest 144-run total, losing by 29 runs, put the spotlight back on former skipper Virat Kohli, who after two successive ducks could manage just nine runs, while Suyash Prabhudessai once again failed with the bat, scoring just two.
And with the law of averages catching up with Dinesh Karthik, the solidity in the RCB middle order seems to have all but vanished. However, RCB head coach, Sanjay Bangar kept harping on the fact that the team is playing some "good cricket".
The team had earlier lost by a massive nine wickets with 12 overs to spare against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Brabourne on April 23, scoring just 68 runs, which certainly wasn't a great advertisement of "good cricket".
"The thing is that how quickly we can put the game behind us. It is very critical. It is important that you want to continue having a sense of calmness and security. The team has been really playing some good cricket. That is a reinforcing message that we management have given to the players. We have total belief and confidence that we would bounce back stronger," Bangar said on RCB Bold diaries.
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Talking about the player-coach relationship, he said, "The relationship that the players and the coaches have built between them, is a critical component for the team. They are very receptive. They are always willing to put their best foot in the front, whenever that is being asked of them."
Bangar also shed light on the intricacies of the format. "T20 is a hit-and-miss format. That is also why you want to have the roll of your dice going your way at times and once that happens and once you get a start, I think you tend to get your rhythm back. It's just one innings away. It could be an experienced player or it can be a younger player," he said.
Talking about the fringe players who are yet to see an opportunity come their way this season, he said, "What I would like to see amongst our players is that, whether that hunger is there, irrespective of the fact that they are playing or not. That is why players who are playing well do get the platform. It doesn't mean that players who are not picked in the playing XI do not have the capability. It doesn't mean that they are not good enough.
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"The kind of work that they are putting behind the scenes, I am more impressed with that. Those are very encouraging signs because whichever team you play, if you have a motivated team or motivated bunch of players who are not getting a game, they are keeping that vibration going, it is critical to any team sport," he concluded.