On Sunday night, Virat Kohli’s face had an unusual calmness to it. Not because his team, Royal Challengers Bangalore, finally managed to turn a corner. It was because he had run out of reasons to explain the wretched form of RCB in IPL 2019. By going down to KKR, RCB lost their sixth consecutive game of the season. They remain the only winless team in the tournament so far. In doing so, RCB has equalled the record for the worst start to an IPL season.
Let’s take a look at five other instances where an IPL team has started the season with no wins. Who knows? There may be some hope for them yet, given the teams (and recovery jobs) in this list:
MUMBAI INDIANS (2008)
The team is notorious for losing starts. In the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League, despite having a decent team on paper (Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar opened the batting), Mumbai Indians started the season with 4 consecutive losses – including one to “test side” RCB. Despite this, MI recovered to win 7 of their next 10 group games, finishing just outside the top 4 on net run-rate. Finishing with 7 wins out of 14 games isn’t bad for a team that refused to win till its fifth.
DECCAN CHARGERS (2012)
Deccan Chargers were probably the most inconsistent team during their time in the initial years of IPL. They finished last in the first season, and won the next in South Africa under Adam Gilchrist. In 2012, however, they began their season with 5 consecutive defeats in a row. Technically, their winless streak is still a record – 6 – because the sixth game was a washout against KKR. They only won their seventh game, and finished the tournament as the second-last team ahead of the Pune Warriors. Most importantly, they didn’t finish last.
DELHI DAREDEVILS (2013)
The Delhi Daredevils ended up at the bottom of the table in the 9-team IPL 2013, with just 3 wins out of 16 games. Their 6 defeats to begin the league remains a losing record, which RCB are well on the verge of shattering this season. No other team has lost 13 games in an Indian Premier League season.
MUMBAI INDIANS (2014)
This particular season will be of great encouragement to any IPL team that starts in the dumps. A year after winning the title for the first time, MI started IPL 2014 with 5 consecutive losses in a row. But they won 7 of their next 9 games to stun onlookers and reach the playoffs against all odds, even chasing down a near-200 total against the Rajasthan Royals in 13-odd overs to reach the playoffs in their final game on net run-rate alone. Nobody will forget that game, and Corey Anderson’s fireworks. This remains perhaps the greatest recovery in IPL history.
MUMBAI INDIANS (2015)
This is Mumbai Indians’ third appearance on the list, as per expectations. MI started 2015, too, with 4 consecutive defeats. Yet, they went on to win 8 of their next 10 matches to finish second in the table and reach the playoffs easily. What’s more, they went on to win the IPL title in 2015, for the second time, defeating CSK in the final.
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