In the first match against PBKS, RCB also missed all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who was their star player last season. But Maxwell alone cannot ensure the title. RCB will need much more from the likes of Kohli, Faf, Harshal, Siraj and Hasaranga. The last-named, bought at a fancy price in the mega auction, could well become the pivot of the side with his leg-spin and late-order hitting that has made him so invaluable for Sri Lanka.
These are very early days, and given the topsy-turvy nature of T20 cricket, it would be imprudent to write off RCB. But after being hammered by PBKS, they need a victory quickly to turn things around. This is a long season, and a sequence of defeats can leave the players hapless.