Disclaimer : The below blog is not to be taken seriously. It’s meant for pure fun.
Having run out of ideas for my weekly blog, I asked my friend Deepak for suggestions for a blog topic. Instantly his reply came “ Bhai, RCB pey ek funny blog ho jaaye” Initially, I thought it would be wrong on my part to make fun of my home team – the Royal Challengers Bangalore but after seeing King Kohli’s unwavering faith in giving Umesh Yadav the last over in every match despite him being consistently clobbered for 20 plus runs in every last over in 3 consecutive matches, I decided to take a shot at it. The cricketing world was discussing Ashwin “Mankading” Butler a few weeks ago. Sunil Gavaskar made a very interesting comment on why poor Vinoo Mankad’s name has to be attached to a case of a bowler running the non-striker out while delivering the ball. I completely agree with Sunny bhai, but after Umesh Yadav’s consistent last over disasters, I think we should have a new term coined for bowlers who get blasted in the last over – “Yadav-ed” Imagine the headlines reading – “RCB gets Yadav-ed by Dhoni”, “ Russell Yadavs Malinga” One of my friends on Facebook Mohit Dayal had posted an amazing status message, which I think should be declared as the FB status message of the year – “ A few years later, when Kohli publishes his autobiography , we will come to know the thinking and the logic behind why he keeps giving Umesh Yadav the last over even though he consistently gets whacked”. The funny part about Umesh Yadav’s death bowling is there is not away a 10% probability that he will bowl a Yorker. Most of his deliveries are either good length balls or full tosses. Umesh had 26 runs to defend off the last over in the recent match against CSK with Dhoni on strike. While Dhoni deserves due credit for smashing 24 off runs off the first 5 balls – 2 sixes and 3 fours, Umesh Yadav deserves equal credit for bowling lolly-pop balls. With 2 runs to get off the last ball, he bowled a slightly wider slower short ball. I think it slipped out of his hand and therefore he was saved , else the ball would have landed on the usual slot. That over prompted by wife to remark “ Haar kar jeetne waale ko Baazigar kehte honge.. but jeet kar harne wale ko Umesh Yadav kehte hain”
Umesh Yadav is a very good bowler first up as he gets the ball to move. He was the second highest wicket-taker in last year’s IPL. But last year, he used to finish his quota of overs well before the slog. I guess the RCB management did not have time to look at last year’s analysis. Also, the great Umesh had “Yadav-ed” an international T20 against Aussies in Bangalore in February as well. With 16 runs to go off 2 overs, Jasprit Bumrah had bowled a dream penultimate over conceding just two runs. With 14 runs to defend, Team India got Yadav-ed by the Aussie tailenders Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins who were both new at the crease. The guy is a good bowler but not at the death overs.
RCB’s problems in the IPL were not only restricted to their death bowling. Most teams in the IPL this year had their share of problems, but generally they had one or two bases covered. For example, Sun Risers Hyderabad had a great opening combination and a decent bowling unit, but their middle order was non-existent. Similarly, CSK’s spinners were outstanding, but their top order misfired more often than not. RCB was the only team which screwed up every base miserably in all three departments – batting, bowling and fielding. Let’s start with fielding. In the first six matches which they lost on the trot, their catching record was an astonishing 50%. They had dropped every second catch. Their bowling leaked 12+ runs an over in the death overs. In batting, Parthiv was their top run-getter despite having stalwarts like Kohli, AB, Hetmyar, Stoinis and Moeen Ali.
The joke going around on Instagram is that the only good thing about RCB this season has been their Instagram page. Their social media marketing team has displayed greater passion than a few of the players. Their catchy theme anthem “ Yahaan Kohli hai..aur ABD… RCB rey RCB” was a big hit and drew fans into the stadium. The average ticket price for RCB matches was a whopping 2000+ but still the fans filled up every match. Their team selection was baffling. Poor Prayas Ray Burman, the youngest IPL player, got dropped after just one match, whereas the great Siraj flopped match after match but was continued. After 8 or 9 matches, the RCB management woke up and realized they had an India international player called Washington Sundar amidst them and he did well in the last three matches Him being dropped at the expense of Pawan Negi for the initial few games was just inexplicable. I guess the management would have missed his name as names starting with W would have figured on the back page of the A4 size team list paper. In the first four matches, they had three different opening combinations. Their bad luck with injuries ensured Dale Steyn spent more time in his to-and-fro flight than on the pitch.
I think Kohli’s favorite book is “Fooled by Randomness”. This possibly explains why a random player Akashdeep Nath, whose batted more like Alok Nath, was persisted for three to four matches. I think the root cause of this would have been the franchisee auction where the think-tank would have just gone off to have Royal Challenge after having retained Kohli and AB. The others were just placeholders to make up the numbers. . I think the RCB fund managers in the IPL auction were given a wrong KRA. “ In 20 crores, ensure Kohli and ABD are retained. The balance money can be used to stack up Royal Challenge for posterity”. The name Royal Challengers is an oxymoron for their performance as neither were they serious challengers nor did they play in a royal manner.
If SRH had openers Warner and Bairstow mopping up century partnerships, RCB gave a handsome reply with Umesh and Siraj scoring century partnerships with their bowling heroics. The lack of faith in Karnataka talent was evident in the number of Karnataka players doing well for other franchisees – KL Rahul, Shreyas Gopal, K Gowtham , Prasidh Krishna , Mayank Agarwal and Manish Pandey. Initially, I used to get frustrated with RCB’s performance but after a point, it became a comedy of errors. Kohli’s routine post match interviews blasting his players seemed more interesting than the actual match. After a point, poor Kohli had gotten tired giving post-match interviews as the losing captain and he jjust wished to have a recording of his interview played. Even Ian Bishop, the commentator started taking his case when he said he was getting bored interviewing Kohli as the losing captain.
That’s it folks. This was just a short cynical rant about RCB by a die-hard Kohli fan. I am sure Kohli and boys will be back next season to entertain us royally. I am sure every opposition captain must be using the following quote to motivate their team for an RCB
“ Darr Key aage jeet hai. Jeet key peeche RCB hai
Wahan Kohli hai aur ABD.. Koi nai, woh aakhirhai RCB”
P.S : If you guys can suggest some topics to blog about, it will be great