RCB worried about Virat Kohli's form
The slump in form for Virat Kohli is a worrying factor for RCB. The team needs the middle-order batsman to find his touch for it to make it to the semi-finals.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore are on a high after their magnificent victories over Pune Warriors India and Kings XI Punjab but their over-dependence on Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli's diminishing form still remain prime concerns for them.
Over-dependence on Gayle had been the bane for RCB in the last IPL too. One cannot expect Gayle to perform in each and every game and there will be occasions when he will be dismissed cheaply in some of the games ahead.
Whenever Gayle has gone cheaply, RCB, on most occasions, have struggled to wriggle out of the pigeon-hole. The failure of Gayle to score any run in the IPL title clash last year cost RCB heavily as they lost the game in the very first over chasing a mammoth 206-run target set by Chennai Super Kings.
Leading up to the finals, RCB rode on Gayle's herculean efforts, who won the Orange Cap Award for scoring most runs in last IPL amassing 608 runs in 12 matches. He was instrumental in many victories for RCB and received five man of the match awards for his performances.
RCB also rode on Gayle's success in the 2011 Champions League. The lusty-hitting Jamaican was the second highest run-getter in the competition, behind David Warner with 257 runs from six matches at an average of 42.83 and a top score of 92.
Losing three games in a row after defeating Delhi Daredevils in their opening encounter, RCB celebrated a last-ball victory against Pune Warriors after Gayle smashed 81 off 48 balls, which set up the game for AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary to finish off in style.
RCB were again indebted to the heroics of Gayle, who scripted a blistering 87 off 56 balls in the company of de Villiers (52 off 39 balls), to register a win - their third in the competition - against Punjab.
Gayle's form is good for RCB, but a warning sign for other teams. However, how long will RCB continue to ride on the mighty Jamaican's success?
It is high time Kohli comes to the party to make Gayle's task a little bit easier up the order.
Kohli has not been among the runs after his splendid show during the Australia tour and Asia Cup. He has scored just 113 runs in six innings he has played with one half century against his name.
When the services of Virat were most required against Kolkata Knight Riders, the youngster fell cheaply for six runs off Lakshmipathy Balaji after Gayle (2) and Cheteshwar Pujara (6) had also departed early in the innings.
He also failed when RCB again bit the dust and were bowled out for 136 in 19.5 overs chasing a formidable 196-run target against Rajasthan Royals.
RCB's batting lineup would certainly get a much-needed boost if Kohli gets back among runs.