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IPL 2019: Royal Challengers Bangalore’s chances and scenarios for making it to playoffs

Can RCB do an unthinkable as they did in 2016?

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

For the third season in a row, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are staring towards losing their hope of making it to the playoffs at the mid-season itself. Virat Kohli put on sensational performances in 2016 to take RCB as close as eight runs from the title. The Bangalore franchise stood on the verge of elimination during that season having lost five of their first seven. They won six of their last seven matches including each of their last four to finish at the 2nd place.

The Royal Challengers need something similar to 2016 for finishing in top four this time. Alongside their hard work, RCB also needs a few results going in their way. At this point, they can finish with 14 points if they manage to win their remaining six matches. The teams which finish at the 4th spot will be having 14 or 16 points depending upon the competitiveness of the tournament.

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The current scenario and where it is heading:

The Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians are getting better with every passing game and are placed in the top three. This could lead to qualification with 14 points which would please the RCB. The trio is assumed to be finishing with 8 or more wins each having won at least five out of the eight they played.

The Kolkata Knight Riders, who are at No.4, have four wins from eight matches. Their bowling and their openers haven’t been consistent leaving it all alone on Andre Russell. They are expected to finish with less than 16 points as they still have two games to play against their tough nuts, MI.

Kings XI Punjab were cruising with five wins from six matches in the previous edition before they fell apart. They’d be hoping they don’t go down once again having lost three of their previous four matches after winning three in the first four games. On the current lines, KXIP will finish with no more than 14 points.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad have been awful with the bat in the recent games and have been recording some of the worst collapses in the IPL history. The franchise could miss David Warner if he joins the Australian camp for CWC. Warner, at the moment, is carrying 50% of the SRH batting. His absence could easily cost the Hyderabad franchise’s playoff chances who need a minimum of four wins in the next seven.

Having ‘Royal’ in the team name hasn’t worked this season as the Rajasthan Royals also have struggled like the RCB team. The Ajinkya Rahane-led team won a game more than Bangalore franchise despite playing one game less. The team gives a sense of over-reliance on Jos Buttler and could give a miss to a top-four finish if the same continues.

What RCB needs to do?

If things of the other teams go as expected, the Royal Challengers Bangalore will be in line for a top-four finish. However, they’d need to change a lot of things, especially their bowling plans to even have a chance of winning at least one more game. If they can succeed in bringing out their best at least after the one month struggle, they would surely have a chance in the top four despite 14 points in their kitty.

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