One of the key reasons for their slump is the failure of the Indian batters to come good, and an over-reliance on the top order – Faf du Plessis (259 runs), Virat Kohli (220) and Glenn Maxwell (176). So far, RCB have scored 899 runs and the trio has contributed 655.
The middle-order got the opportunity to showcase their wares against KKR, DC and CSK, but they bombed. Against CSK on Monday night, RCB came close to overhauling the 227-run target, thanks to Du Plessis and Maxwell’s fireworks and the largesse of the sloppy CSK fielders, especially Maheesh Theekshana, who dropped two catches. However, it didn’t come in the way of CSK’s victory as the RCB middle and lower order failed to close it out.
When Du Plessis was sent back by Moeen Ali, RCB needed 68 off the last six overs with six wickets in hand, but the brittle middle-order was exposed again on a pitch which was a bowler’s graveyard.
In the five matches so far, Shahbaz Ahmed has come out to bat three times, scoring 33 runs, while seasoned campaigner Dinesh Karthik, an architect of many RCB wins in the past, has 38 from five innings, 28 of which came against CSK. Harshal Patel has scored 6 runs (2 innings), while Anuj Rawat and Mahipal Lomror have contributed 16 and 26 runs respectively.
Defending the middle-order, Glenn Maxwell said, “I wouldn’t say (there is overreliance on the top 4). Shahbaz and DK (Dinesh Karthik) batted really well. Suyash Prabhudessai), (Wayne) Parnell and (Wanindu) Hasaranga, they got us to a position where we were in the game right till the end.”
With Rajat Patidar ruled out and Lomror trying to fit into the No. 3 position, Maxwell was confident the 23-year-old would fire soon.
“He will show his class,” Maxwell said.