Royal Challengers Bangalore were staring down the barrel with six consecutive losses. However, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali have all chipped in and ensured Royal Challengers Bangalore have won the next three out of four games. Kohli’s century against Kolkata Knight Riders was well-backed up by Moeen’s blazing 66 while he also chipped in with a crucial cameo against Chennai Super Kings. However, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s next game against Kings XI Punjab will be the last for Moeen as he leaves the IPL in order to prepare for the upcoming ODI series against England, which will be the last tournament before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
“It's not ideal. I think it's worse when there are three games to go. If there were 6, 7 games, it was a little more understandable. And knowing that there could be a chance of going through if we win all our games, then you miss out on a potential semifinal and stuff, but I will definitely keep an eye out and see how they are going, hoping that we are winning all our games,” Moeen said.
Royal Challengers Bangalore still have a slim chance of reaching the playoffs in the Indian Premier League and will have to win the remaining games and hope other results go their way if they have to reach the top four in the IPL 2019 points table. With Chennai Super Kings qualifying for the playoffs after a win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, the fight for the remaining three spots has intensified.
When asked as to what has changed for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last four games, Moeen said the presence of Dale Steyn and his ability to take wickets in the powerplay has proven to be a vital factor. “Dale has been a huge impact. We did not take wickets in the powerplays. If you take four wickets in powerplays, most of the time you win matches. He has been a class act. The way he swings the ball is a brave thing to do. Probably that has been the missing factor, which cost us games,” Moeen said.
A win for Royal Challengers Bangalore will keep them in the hunt for the playoffs while a loss could end their chances of reaching the last four. However, England will play Pakistan for five ODIs starting from May 8 and it will finish on May 19. Before the ODI series, they will play one Twenty20 International.