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AB de Villiers finds real reason why RCB have been struggling in IPL 2019

"You need a collective hunger."

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. (Photo: IANS)

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) made some key changes in their squad, including the coach, for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 in the hunt for better fortunes. However, the side led by Virat Kohli saw its worst beginning in the T20 tournament, losing all their six games played so far. There have been flashes of individual brilliance in the team but overall, the side has failed to impress. It’s almost three weeks into the carnival but the three-time finalists are yet to witness their first win.

The RCB came close to winning a few games but couldn’t have the last laugh eventually, thanks to factors like umpiring goof-ups or bowlers’ nervous breakdown. They lost to Mumbai Indians (MI) by just six runs while against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), monstrous hitting by Andre Russell saw the RCB failing to defend more than 60 runs in just four overs.

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Former South Africa skipper AB de Villiers, one of the mainstays of the RCB batting, was as dejected as his team-mates over the series of losses and took to analysing the key areas where his franchise failed to deliver. According to the hard-hitting batsman, one area where the RCB has lacked the teeth in this tournament is in fielding.

“More often than not, in cricket, you can assess the state of a team by the way they field. Each player is a batsman or a bowler, and it is understandable that their primary focus is on batting or bowling… but every player is also a fielder and, in my view, you need a collective hunger and desire to operate as a strong unit in the field,” De Villiers wrote in a column for Times in India (TOI) about his response to a question by compatriot Gary Kirsten who took over as the Royals’ head coach this year.

‘Fielding has been very poor’

Calling the fielding by RCB in the tournament to be below par, de Villiers wrote: “Maybe that’s where we are failing. Our fielding in this tournament has been very poor, and we simply can’t afford to be dropping multiple chances in every match. Of course, the margins are small. We might easily have beaten MI and KKR at home and, with another 20 runs on Sunday, we might have beaten DC at home as well. We could be sitting here with three wins from six matches, in contention. Instead, we must stay positive and stay together.”

With no wins from six games, the RCB are now in the danger of ending up last in yet another IPL. Former England captain Michael Vaughan even advised rest for Kohli for the upcoming World Cup for it seems end of the road for the Bangalore team in this edition.

However, with quite a heavy names in their ranks, the RCB can still try to make amends in their remaining games and make it to the playoffs but that will definitely require a huge strength of character. The RCB play Kings XI Punjab next in Mohali on April 13. They are the only team to beat the RCB till now.

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