Royal Challengers Bangalore’s defeat to Rajasthan Royals on Saturday dashed all hopes of them qualifying for the playoffs of IPL 2018. The franchise disappointed yet again despite having big names such as Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers in their ranks who are well regarded as two of the best batsmen in the game at the moment.
RCB needed to beat Rajasthan to stay in contention for the playoffs and looked en-route for the next round but a middle-order slump in which they lost seven wickets for 30 runs eventually ended in a loss by 30 runs.
The Bangalore-based franchise has always been one of the most energetic teams in the tournament but has always somehow managed to disappoint its fans.
Individual brilliance in some of the matches have not been enough for the team to make any significant impact.
However, AB De Villiers believes the team can still gain a lot from yet another disappointing tournament.
“We can have no complaints. It is frustrating to know we would have qualified if we had defeated Rajasthan Royals on Saturday, and at one stage we seemed to be on course for a successful chase, but their spinners halted our march and, in a few hectic overs, our dreams evaporated like the morning mist,”
“Too often, in too many matches, we conceded too many runs when it really mattered, and we failed to construct partnerships when they were really needed. The margins can be very small in T20 cricket and, too many times, we seemed to fall on the wrong side.”
The South African also added the mood in the camp was not all gloomy.
“So it’s all doom and gloom in Bengaluru? No, not at all,” he wrote. “We are extremely disappointed to have won only six of our 14 matches, but it is often said that sports teams must lose together before they can win together, and I do believe that, amid our underperformance in 2018, we have laid a solid foundation for 2019.
“I have been fortunate to participate in every IPL since the tournament started in 2008 and, in many respects, for me, the 2018 event has been the most enjoyable. The spirit within the RCB squad has been outstanding. In the good moments, and also the difficult moments, players, coaches and staff have stuck together and backed each other, and we have developed a collective will that augurs well for next season.”
De Villiers also picked his winner before signing off. He said,
“The IPL remains brilliantly unpredictable. However, if forced to make a prediction, I would not be surprised to see SRH, brilliantly led by Kane Williamson, play CSK in the final, and then for yet one more burst of MS Dhoni magic to propel the team in yellow to the title,”