How Many Times Have RCB Qualified for the IPL Playoffs?

Royal Challengers Bangalore is one of the most popular teams in the Indian Premier League. They have been blessed with many great players over the years. Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen, Yuvraj Singh, Rahul Dravid, and Anil Kumble all have been part of the RCB franchise. However, the silverware is still missing as we approach the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League.

 RCB though has qualified for the playoffs eight times style=”font-weight: 400;”> throughout 15 seasons and has made it to the final on three occasions out of those eight times.

Royal Challengers Bangalore Logo
Image Source: swarajyamag

Year-by-year Performance of RCB in the Indian Premier League

YearPerformance Captain
2008 Seventh Rahul Dravid

2009Playoffs - Runners-upKevin Pietersen, Anil Kumble

2010Playoffs - thirdAnil Kumble

2011Playoffs - runners-up

Daniel Vettori

2012 FifthDaniel Vettori

2013 FifthVirat Kohli


Virat Kohli


Virat Kohli


Virat Kohli


Virat Kohli


Virat Kohli


Virat Kohli

2020FourthVirat Kohli

2021FourthVirat Kohli


Faf du Plessis

Year-by-year Performance of RCB in the Indian Premier League

Journey to Playoffs – Year-wise


2009 – Runners-up

Royal Challengers Bangalore had a forgettable first season but they came back strongly in the second season. The start though was patchy again but Anil Kumble took over the captaincy from Kevin Pietersen midway through the season and RCB went through a dream run to win 5 games in a row to reach the final.

Kumble also led from the front and was the highest wicket-taker for his side with 21 wickets in 16 matches. Jacques Kallis was the highest run-getter for them while young Manish Pandey became the first Indian batter to score a century in the IPL. They lost to Deccan Chargers in the final but gelled well as a unit in the 2009 season.

2010 – Third Position

RCB under the leadership of Anil Kumble again managed to qualify for the knockout stage by finishing fourth on the points table. They lost to Mumbai Indians in the semifinal but then managed to win the third-place playoff game against the Deccan Chargers.

Jacques Kallis was again the leading run-scorer of the side with 572 runs in 16 games. Robin Uthappa also showed his prowess with the bat while Anil Kumble and Vinay Kumar were the major contributors with the ball. It was another successful season for RCB but they could not bring their A-game to the table when it mattered the most.

2011 – Runners-up

This was the season of the Universe Boss – Chris Gayle! He was the leading run-scorer of the season and took RCB to the final of the IPL 2011. Gayle scored 608 runs in 12 matches with a strike rate of 183.13. RCB also topped the league stage but unfortunately for their fans, they lost to CSK in the final.

This was also the season where Virat Kohli got his act together with the bat and scored 557 runs in 16 games. Sreenath Aravind was their main bowler in the season with 21 wickets in just 13 games. It was also the season when Daniel Vettori took over the leadership role from Anil Kumble.

2015 – Third Position

After the disappointment of the previous three seasons, RCB came back strongly in the 2015 season. They won seven out of their 14 games and finished in the third position on the points table. They, however, lost to Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 2.

‘The Big 3’ of RCB – Virat Kohli, Ab de Villiers, and Chris Gayle scored the majority of runs while in the bowling department, this was the season of the emergence of Yuzvendra Chahal. 

The leg-spinner took 23 wickets in 15 games and formed a great partnership with Mitchell Starc. Overall, this season was a fresh departure from RCB’s batting-heavy approach as the onus was equally shared between the batting and bowling groups.

Virat Kohli celebrating after scoring a century for RCB in the IPL
Image source: NDTV SPORTS

2016 – Runners-up

This was the season when Virat Kohli broke all batting records with his insane consistency. RCB had lost 5 out of their first 7 games but then went on a dream run finishing second on the points table.

Virat Kohli scored 973 runs in 16 games while AB de Villiers scored 687 runs in as many games as RCB stormed into the final. They could not cross the final hurdle again in a high-scoring encounter but with four centuries in the season, this was a memorable edition for Kohli and RCB fans.

2020 – Fourth Position

RCB got off to a brilliant start after the disappointment of the last three seasons. They won 7 out of their first 10 games and were looking good to go all the distance. However, they ran out of steam in the latter part of their campaign and lost five consecutive games which included an Eliminator against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Yuzvendra Chahal was their leading wicket-taker again with 21 wickets in 15 games while in the batting department, RCB found a new star, Devdutt Padikkal. However, they could not find any momentum in the latter part of the season and were knocked out in the Eliminator.

2021 – Fourth Position

It was the last season of Virat Kohli as the captain of RCB. It turned out to be an emotional exit for Virat Kohli and his boys as they crumbled under pressure once again in the Eliminator.

RCB though played good cricket in that season and finished in the third spot on the points table after the end of the league stage with 9 wins in 14 games in the league stage.

Glenn Maxwell turned out to be a trump card for RCB with his all-round performance. He scored 513 runs in 15 games while Harshal Patel emerged as the leading wicket-taker of the season with 32 wickets in 15 matches. He showed some brilliant death bowling skills but it was not enough to take RCB to their maiden IPL title win.

2022 – Third

The 2022 season marked the start of a new era in RCB’s history with Faf du Plessis taking over the captaincy from Virat Kohli. They made some significant changes to their arsenal and decided to go with Wanindu Hasaranga as a leg-spinner in place of Yuzvendra Chahal. The Sri Lankan did what was expected of him and was the second-highest wicket-taker in the season with 26 wickets in 16 games.

However, RCB faltered in the playoffs yet again and lost Qualifier 2 to Rajasthan Royals to end another season with disappointment for their fans.

Their new skipper was the leading run-scorer for them with 468 runs in 16 games while young Rajat Patidar also emerged as a star in the latter part of the tournament with a century and a couple of half-centuries.

Thus, RCB has blown hot and cold in the IPL so far leaving their loyal fans high and dry. They started with a below-par opening season but made a strong comeback in the second season under the leadership of Anil Kumble and managed to reach the final. 

In the following two seasons, RCB was impressive again, reaching the final of the 2011 season. After some poor seasons, RCB again made it to the playoffs in 2015 and was the runners-up in the 2016 edition. A lean patch followed again but since 2020, RCB has regained some mojo and has qualified for the playoffs for three consecutive seasons.

Our Verdict

Royal Challengers Bangalore have always been a star-studded team but they have been morebatting-heavyy in the past. In the last few years, RCB has tried to reshape that balance between bat and ball. They played some excellent cricket in the 2021 season but they need to be better in execution during crunch moments. If they can do that, they may well end up winning their maiden IPL title in the 2023 season.

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