RCB has been in phenomenal shape at the start of the IPL 2022 as they have overturned a drubbing in the opening game and has secured three back-to-back wins, two of which have come from almost impossible situations.
At the end of the auction, people had their reasons to believe that the team was headed into another year of desperation and emptiness. Despite being one of the most popular franchises across the entire globe, they have not been able to touch the silverware even for once.
However, going by the experts’ comments, there are reasons to believe that this may be the year for the Challengers as they have had a fair start as the tournament slowly progresses, they get better and better.
More importantly, barring Harshal Patel and Hasaranga, the big guns are still to fire for the Challengers. They have so far thrived mainly on performances from names that were supposed to be an important part of the contest but not the limelight-hoggers.
Let us quickly take a glance at why RCB has had a successful campaign in IPL 2022 so far:
#1 Dinesh Karthik – A Titan redivivus
The last two years that Karthik spent at the Kolkata Knight Riders saw him struggling vehemently as he could barely break free from the shackles and quite often returned questionable numbers that jeopardized the Knights.
However, he has played a crucial role for the Challengers as a finisher. RCB is known for bringing players to their team who has been labelled as finished and changing them into dynamic monikers of the sport. They desperately needed a finisher in their ranks and they resorted to the likes of the old warhorse.
Even though there were initial skepticisms, he has been in fine touch so far that has effaced all fears of the contingency. He has brought out some massive hits and produced knocks in the face of tremendous pressure against KKR and Rajasthan Royals. He has shown his maturity, experience and leadership that have played a pivotal role in shaping the early fortunes of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
#2 Shahbaz Ahmed – A youngster who is lighting up the domestic ranks
If you are a close follower of domestic cricket, you would know the kind of impact he has had on the ranks of Bengal, leading them to two emphatic victories in their opening games of the latest edition of the Ranji Trophy. Even though he was taken for his bowling prowess, yet his flair as a batter has been absolutely unparalleled in the RCB echelons.
In the second game where RCB managed to restrict KKR for a paltry total, Umesh Yadav sparked an instant response opening the doors of qualms for the Challengers. RCB had lost the cream of their batting and was struggling desperately to get the wheels rolling. Even though Sherfane Rutherford and David Willey applied the initial daub of overhaul, it was Shahbaz Ahmed who whacked Andre Russell for two massive sixes that brought RCB back to the hunt.
Once again against the Rajasthan Royals, the team lost 4 early wickets and Sherfane Rutherford left in a while too, leaving the Challengers wobbling at 87 for 5. It was the phenomenal partnership of Shahbaz Ahmed and Dinesh Karthik that delivered the Challengers to the doorstep of another scintillating victory. The youngster has not shied away from the opportunities and the kind of mastery he has shown over his nerves is simply a treat for the sore eyes.
#3 An exceptionally well-oiled bowling unit laced with some electric fielding
RCB is still to star their primary fast bowler, Josh Hazlewood, who most likely will be opening his campaign against the Chennai Super Kings. However, without Hazlewood, the team has still managed to find some terrific figures with the cherry in their arm.
Harshal Patel and Wanindu Hasaranga have been out of this world and Akash Deep has been pretty successful too. Despite Mohammed Siraj leaking quite a few runs, the youngster will just need one game to turn the tide around as we are all aware of the kind of potential he houses.
In addition to that, the kind of fielding that the Challengers have put up for display has simply been awe-inspiring. Ever since dropping that catch of Odean Smith in the opener that cost them the game, the fielding efforts by RCB have been a lesson to all other IPL teams this season. From Faf to Kohli, the names that adorn the franchise are just the synonym of “as safe as houses”.