'If one injury can disrupt your season..' - ex India player sheds light on RCB's disappointing campaign

The former India batter shed light on the struggles of the famed franchise with a reference to the injury to one of their key players. 

After picking up steam and enjoying the highs of three consecutive seasons entering the playoffs, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) crashed down on earth with a disappointing campaign in IPL 2023. The popular franchise couldn't make it to the top 4 despite winning half of their league games. 

Facing the brunt of a much more intensified race to bag the coveted silverware, the Faf du Plessis-led side couldn't cross the first round and ended sixth on the ten-team standings when clinching wins in 50% of their games would've sufficed in multiple previous seasons of the IPL. 

Over the past week, prominent names and RCB insiders, too, have opened up on their failure and pinpointed the middle-order inconsistency and downfall as the big reason for it. It didn't help that the franchise had to deal with a costly pre-season injury to their breakthrough IPL 2022 performer Rajat Patidar, whose absence derailed the side and put the pressure directly on RCB's soft underbelly. 

Patidar, the uncapped Indian right-hander from Madhya Pradesh, helped plug a big hole in RCB line-up last summer by producing 333 runs at a strike-rate of 152.75 in eight innings, including a match-winning ton against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the Eliminator in Kolkata. 

Chopra's Patidar reference to shed light on RCB's woes

For ex India batter turned commentator Aakash Chopra, however, the injury-forced absence of Patidar can't be an excuse for RCB to feel the heat to such an extent and that it's a clear failure of the team's think-tank to have not gotten enough backup arsenal on the job to keep them afloat.

Chopra put the RCB management group under scrutiny for not preparing well enough for Patidar's knee injury, with his absence exposing chinks in the armoury for Du Plessis & men. 

"You can say all you want that Rajat Patidar's injury was damaging. But if one injury can disrupt your season, and you don't have Indian backups, it means you have gone wrong somewhere whether it's the mega auction or the mini-auction last year," the former India opener said on his YouTube channel. 

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The absence of Patidar exposed RCB's longstanding problem. Even as the team's star-studded trio of Du Plessis, Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell all struck way 400 or more runs in the season, the likes of Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik, Shahbaz Ahmed and Anuj Rawat fell way short of expectations. 

Among these, it is Karthik with whom the RCB would feel the most disappointed. In a recurring theme with the experienced wicketkeeper-batter's career, he failed to replicate his inspirational run in IPL 2022 and collected only 140 runs in his 13 innings at a middling SR of 134.61.