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Royal Challengers Bangalore in shambles as Kohli-punch missing from the first three games

Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalores 2019 IPL campaign has started on a bad note as they have lost their first three matches.

Last updated: 03.04.2019
Virat Kohli expressing his disappointment on the field

Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had yet another disappointing outing during their third consecutive loss in the 12th edition of the tournament. First, it was Sunrisers Hyderabad's (SRH) openers, David Warner and Jonny Bairstow who tormented the bowling of the RCB during the course of their massive opening stand where both of them scored a ton. The misery didn't end after the first innings, it became worse as star-studded lineup found themselves 6 down for a mere 35 runs. They eventually bundled out for 113 runs, losing the match by 118 runs. 

In the tournament opener at the Chepauk in Chennai, Kohli's men were bamboozled by the spinning venom of the pitch where they were rolled out for just 70 runs. While CSK chased down the target, the pitch was questioned and criticized by both the skippers. 

In the second game of the tournament against the Mumbai Indians, the team could not cross the final hurdle even after the epic heroics from AB de Villiers. Their bowlers were taken to cleaners earlier in the innings. 

So, what is not working out for Virat Kohli and his men in this IPL? 

1) No fixed openers 

In the tournament opener, skipper Virat Kohli partnered wicket-keeper-batsman Parthiv Patel at the top. While the spinning track at the Chepauk left everyone in a tizzy, Kohli and RCB management opted for a new combination at the top for their second game against the Mumbai Indians as Moeen Ali came out to partner Patel. After the duo could not produce anything significant, the team sent 22-year-old Shimron Hetmyer to open the innings and unfortunately for the RCB and one would wonder who'd be the next partnering Parthiv Patel.

One thing for sure, If the management continues experimenting at the top-order, things would become meeker than anything else.


2) Backup bowling options 

Like every season, RCB it seems is lacking a pace bowler who can make an impact with the ball. Likes of Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, and Navdeep Saini are getting hammered. Yuzvendra Chahal, the spinner of the side is lacking support from the other end. The team handed 16-year-old Prayas Ray Barman a debut on Sunday against the SRH but he was disdainfully hammered by the opening duo of Warner and Bairstow. 

Kohli and management would be happy to know that Australia's Nathan Coulter Nile and Marcus Stoinis is set to join the side for their next encounter. While the addition of these two in the playing XI will strengthen both, batting as well as bowling department of the RCB, the other bowlers will have to step up as well. 

3) Tired skipper? 

Virat Kohli is an energy machine and he showed the same during India's victorious Australia tour. He brings the positivity through just his presence on the ground. However, that energy and passion seem to be dying down this season from the RCB skipper as his side struggles between the overs or during the run chase. 

His own numbers with the bat have not been inspiring as yet. Apart from a 46-run innings against the Mumbai Indians, Kohli's willow has been kept silent by the oppositions. While the 30-year-old Kohli looks fatigued, tired and as things do not pan out as he expects, he is someone who takes the battle head-on through his passion, desire, and commitment. 

It would be interesting to see how things pan out for Kohli, the batsman and the skipper ( one which has been questioned by many) in the remainder of the tournament. However, with the World Cup, the mega event approaching, the Indian fans including the RCB fans who have been loyal to the franchise for quite some time would not mind Kohli taking a bit of rest.


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