Brian Lara, legendary batsman of West Indies and former Australian pacer Brett Lee said Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) should address their concern of depending too much on batsmen skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers if they are to pose a serious challenge for the title in the upcoming seasons.
RCB crashed out of IPL 2020 in Eliminator following five successive defeats. They lost to SunRisers Hyderabad by six wickets in an eliminator after failing to defend 131.
Brian Lara: Bangalore Played Good Cricket But Were A Bit Inconsistent
Legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara said Royal Challengers Bangalore should realize their over-reliance on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers and try and change it in the near future if they are to perform well in the Indian Premier League consistently.
Brian Lara pointed out that RCB played some good cricket, but their inconsistency hurt them at IPL 2020.
“They (RCB) played very good cricket, sometimes a little bit inconsistent. They did not finish in the top 2 when they had that opportunity. I think what they have to do is just assess the situation and realise the reliance on over-reliance on Kohli and AB de Villiers has to change, moving forward,” Lara told Star Sports.
RCB were the first side to bowl out from the playoffs after they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator on Thursday. They lost five successive matches against the likes of Delhi, Hyderabad-twice, Chennai and Mumbai as the likes of Aaron Finch, Shivam Dube, Josh Philipe failed as their batting averages were below 25.
The injury of Chris Morris who took 11 wickets in nine games came as a blow to them as he averaged 19.09 with the ball and conceded runs at an economy rate of 6.63.
Brett Lee: Bangalore Relied Heavily On Virat Kohli And AB De Villiers
Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee backed Brian Lara’s comments, saying RCB need to have a better structure around Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to succeed in upcoming IPLs and understand that they can’t be over-reliant on the two superstar batsmen.
“I think they relied too heavily on their big guns. When you look at Virat Kohli, the captain and ABD, two massive players in their line-up. But I think they need a bit of structure around them. Everyone fails in T20 cricket, that happens.
“I think they need to get the younger players to come up. Devdutt Padikkal is definitely a player for the future,” Lee said.
As both of them pointed out, RCB have once again relied on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers for match-winning knocks. While young opener debutant Devdutt Padikkal showed a lot of class early on, he scored only 2 fifties in last 10 innings and failed both times against SRH-one in the group stage and the other in Eliminator.
Brian Lara though pointed out that it’s a positive for RCB that they made the playoffs in IPL 2020 after a few bad seasons even finishing last twice in 2017 and 2019 and they can build on from hereon.
“Disappointment yes, but they haven’t been in this position for some years so they got to this position and maybe build from here,” Brian Lara said.
Devdutt Padikkal top-scored for RCB with 473 runs while Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers finished in the top 10 of the run-scorers charts with 466 and 454 runs, respectively in 15 matches. Barring the 3 batsmen, RCB have no one else in the top 25 with Aaron Finch, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar and Josh Phillipe failing with bat.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers were under a lot of pressure as their top-order and lower-middle order began misfiring as they went on to lose five consecutive matches on the trot and crash out of the tournament.