"RCB needed someone who just goes out there and launches from ball 1," Michael Vaughan criticises RCB's middle-order batters
Royal Challengers Bangalore have a fragile middle order, which has been on display several times in IPL 2023. They are heavily reliant on the big three - Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell - to do the heavy lifting every time with the willow.
The mediocre returns from the likes of Dinesh Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed have resulted in low scoring rates in the slog overs. RCB have also collapsed after the dismissals of their main top-order batters a few times.
In their recently-concluded game against Rajasthan Royals, RCB were 156/4 in their first 15 overs and looked set to explode in the final five. Instead of accelerating and ending on a high note, the Bangalore-based franchise lost as many as five wickets while scoring only 33 runs at a run rate of 6.60 only.
The mentioned three batters have accumulated 78.60% of the total runs for Royal Challengers Bangalore so far, which gives a fair idea of how poor the other batters have been. Neither do they score at a brisk rate, nor do they manage to preserve their wicket and stay longer at the crease.
Michael Vaughan criticises the poor performance of RCB’s middle order
Several T20 experts have called out the mediocre performances churned out by the RCB’s middle-order batters. The former England captain, Michael Vaughan, is the latest to join the bandwagon.
Michael Vaughan first criticised Royal Challengers Bangalore’s think-tank for letting the ace leg-spinner, Yuzvendra Chahal, go before the mega-auction and later talked about the wicketkeeper batter Dinesh Karthik.
“When Yuzvendra Chahal went to Rajasthan, they didn’t get their auction planning right. Clearly, they are top-heavy. They’ve got these three outstanding players at the top. Then they have got DK, who comes in for the last eight balls; that’s his contract,” exclaimed Vaughan in a show with Cricbuzz.
The 48-year-old also named a few players RCB could have acquired in the mega-auction last year.
Vaughan added, “RCB need someone like Jitesh Sharma, someone who just goes out there and launches from ball 1, or Shimron Hetmyer or Nicholas Pooran. That style of player coming in at 5 or 6 is what RCB need. In terms of batting, that’s the purest batting line-up that you could come up with in T20 cricket.”
The form of Dinesh Karthik has been the biggest reason for RCB’s pathetic show in the final few overs. Last year, he nailed the role of a finisher, striking at a magnificent 207.43 in the last five overs, but the numbers have shrunk significantly this time around.
As RCB enter the vital phase of the tournament, the significant contributions from Dinesh Karthik and Co. become mandatory. The big three won’t save the team in every game.