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HomeSports UpdateHow RCB Gave IPL Its 'Greatest Comeback Story' In History

How RCB Gave IPL Its ‘Greatest Comeback Story’ In History

Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) put in a resounding display of resilience and commitment, securing a spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 playoffs in the most unexpected fashion. After losing seven of their first 8 games of the season, RCB were only theoretically in the playoffs race. But, the Bengaluru side’s 6 consecutive wins from that stage, coupled with a few other results going its way, the Faf du Plessis-led team made the No. 4 spot in the points table its own, and isn’t planning to take the foot off the gas as yet.

Up against the Rajasthan Royals who have incurred a dip in form over the last 3-4 games, still remain a tough side to beat, especially in the absence of Jos Buttler. But, RCB’s beliefs are as high as they’ve ever been in the history of this competition, having given the league its ‘greatest comeback story’ ever.

The month of May has witnessed a massive change in fortunes for both the sides. RCB could not buy a win at one point, but have six successive wins now that helped them write one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of cricket. Rajasthan Royals, once sitting pretty at the top of the points table with eight wins and just one loss, succumbed to four momentum-breaking defeats in a row, which has brought them to this do-or-die clash against RCB.

Not only have RCB won matches, but also kept statisticians, fans, experts etc busy by breaking records and the net-run-rate barrier match by match. Since April 25, when they won their second game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) till now, they have put up some strong numbers following a terrible first half. Let us look at some numbers which tell the tale of this inspirational comeback:

Overall run-rate: Before April 25, the day they won their second game of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), RCB’s overall run rate was at fourth-best with 9.73. Since the win against SRH till now, the team’s overall run rate has soared to 11.03, the best in the league.

Improvement in middle-overs batting: In the first half of the season, poor and inconsistent middle-order meant that openers Virat Kohli and Faf Du Plessis had to apply some brakes on their own run rate during the middle-overs. The team’s middle overs run rate was 8.72, the sixth-best in the competition. From April 25 till now, the middle-overs run rate soared to 10.18, the second-best in the competition

Drastic leap in powerplay bowling: RCB has also improved its powerplay bowling by leaps and bounds. Before April 25, RCB had taken just seven wickets in this phase, the least by a team. Since the win against SRH, RCB has 16 wickets in the powerplay, the most by a team. Also, the economy rate has also gone down considerably. While RCB bowlers were culprits of many defeats in the first half by conceding runs at 10.79 per over in the powerplay, their six wins saw them give runs at an economy rate of 8.72, which is the fourth-best.

Pacers bring the heat: For the first half of the competition, the RCB pace attack of Mohammed Siraj, Alzarri Joseph, Reece Topley, Lockie Ferguson etc were smashed in every corner of the park regardless of the venue. The ball travelled to the boundary as fast as their deliveries, especially at their home venue of M Chinnnaswamy Stadium. Subject to a lot of criticism and ridicule, the quicks put in hard work. Before the April 25 win, pacers had taken 34 wickets, the least by a team. In their next six wins, the pacers went on to take 28 wickets, the second-most by a team. Also, their economy rate went down, from 10.66 (second worst among all teams) to 8.79 (best among all teams) since April 25.

Best batting side in the tournament?: While Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have taken the league by storm with their fearless hitting and in-depth batting, RCB’s batting has also put in work worth being documented. They ended the league stage with 2,758 runs, outscoring both SRH and KKR before the knockouts. In the overall tally, they are just six runs short of SRH, who has scored 2,764 runs this tournament.

They have also scored 1,806 runs through fours and sixes, the most by a team in the league stage, outdoing SRH (1,768 runs through boundaries by the team qualifier one against KKR concluded). Also, they have got the third-highest number of fours (216) and second-highest number of sixes (157) this season.

Also, the franchise has 554 runs in the final three overs of a game across the season, with batters unleashing carnage in death overs, ending the league stage on top in this aspect.

Also, a look at the franchise’s top batters’ since April 25:

Virat Kohli: Before April 25: 379 runs in eight innings. Average: 63.16 Strike rate: 150.39. One century and two fifties. Since April 25: 329 runs in six innings. Average: 65.80. Strike rate: 162.06. Three fifties

Faf Du Plessis: Before April 25: 239 runs in eight innings. Average: 29.87. Strike rate: 152.22. Two half-centuries. Since April 25: 182 runs in six innings. Average: 30.33. Strike rate: 182.00. Two half-centuries.

Rajat Patidar: Before April 25: 161 runs in seven innings. Average: 23.00 Strike rate: 161.00. Two half-centuries. Since April 25: 200 runs in five innings. Average: 40.00 Strike rate: 198.01. Three fifties.

Cameron Green: Before April 25: 74 in six innings. Average: 14.80. Strike rate: 110.44. Best score: 33. Since April 25: 154 runs in five innings. Average: 77.00. Strike rate: 171.11 Best score: 46*.

Will Jacks: Before April 25: 76 runs in four innings. Average: 19.00. Strike rate: 149.01. One half-century. Since April 25: 154 runs in four innings. Average: 51.33. Strike rate: 183.33. One century.

A defeat for either of the franchises would be the final nail in the coffin for them this season. RCB would be determined to go all the way, making the most of their prime form while RR will be desperate to arrest their slide.

With ANI inputs

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