IPL 2024: 'Some Of Our High-Profile Players Haven't Performed', Says RCB Director Mo Bobat

With just two points in their kitty from six matches and a faltering net run rate (-1.124) to go with, RCB’s play-off chances are getting slimmer by each match

AP Photo/Pankaj Nangia
Royal Challengers Bengaluru's captain Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli bump fists during the Indian Premier League cricket match between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bengaluru in Jaipur. AP Photo/Pankaj Nangia

Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s Director of Cricket Mo Bobat admitted that some high-profile players in their ranks have failed to deliver and hinted at possible changes in the team in Monday’s IPL match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Bengaluru. (Full CoverageMore Cricket News)

The Royal Challengers are currently languishing in 10th place after losing five out of six matches that they have played so far.

"There's no hiding away from the fact that we haven't played the way we want to play. Some of our high-profile players haven’t performed in the way they want to. Ultimately, the players would be expecting to go out and deliver probably better than they have done,” Bobat said on Sunday during his pre-match press conference.

“We've already looked at a couple of different personnel changes. We'll continue to think about whether any selection changes can enhance the team,” he added.

Bobat said it’s easy for negative momentum to creep into a team in a league like the IPL.

“If we can start by getting a win in the next game (vs SRH), you can hope to build some momentum. In competitions like this, negative momentum can build up quickly. You want to try and switch that to get some positive momentum.”

With just two points in their kitty from six matches and a faltering net run rate (-1.124) to go with, RCB’s play-off chances are getting slimmer by each match.

However, Bobat did not count his team out from the race to the top four.

“We started this campaign with 14 group games and the aim was to finish in the playoffs and all of that was in our own hands.

“Now, we sit here with eight games to go to get into the playoffs and that is also in our hands, and we got to believe. That's the clear message we've given to the team,” he said.

For that to happen, Bobat, the former England performance director, said RCB need to make improvements in batting and bowling departments.

“We feel like we can improve in batting and bowling. When you look at the team, a lot of champion cricketers are in our team but we haven't played that level. So, we're looking for performance improvements,” he said.

“We're trying to get to a positive powerplay. We're trying to make sure that the opposition is under pressure in the middle-overs. Our middle to lower-order has played well so far. I think that has been more of a positive.”

Bobat admitted that the introduction of Impact Player has increased the responsibility of bowlers in the IPL, and they need to bowl with more aggression.

“We want to be able to bowl with aggressive intent. We want to take more wickets. I think the way the IPL has gone with impact players; I don't think you can just try and not concede runs.

“I think the best way to not concede runs is to take wickets because if you try to not concede runs, then they've got the impact player coming in, and there are eight batters, maybe nine batters coming at you.”

The 40-year-old Englishman was also not worried about the relatively slow scoring of RCB frontline batters, including their talisman Virat Kohli.

The three top-order batters Kohli (141), skipper Faf du Plessis (139), and Rajat Patidar (138) have scored runs at a middling tempo whereas the corresponding SRH batters struck runs at a rate above 170.

Bobat was not worried about the disparity.

“The point on Virat (strike rate) seems to get a lot of media and air time in India. Among all the openers that have played in the competition this season, he’s scored more runs than most of them.

“He’s also offering a decent strike rate and I’m not spending too much time worrying about Virat’s batting.”

However, Bobat wanted RCB to get tall scores over 200 more often.

“We have seen in the competition some big scores, 200 has been breached plenty of times. That sort of thing is linked to confidence, people at the top of their game can take slightly more risks.

“Our guys haven’t felt like that. We saw some good signs in the last game (vs MI) where people other than Virat contributed. We can build from there,” he signed off.