How Many Times RCB Qualified For Playoffs

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has qualified eight times for the playoffs in 16 years of IPL. They have been runner-up twice.

Dillip Mohanty
Dillip Mohanty

Last Updated: 2023-12-22

Umaima Saeed

6 minutes read

One of the most popular cricket teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has seen many legendary players represent the team over the years. But they have failed to win a trophy in the 16 years of its existence despite coming close on several occasions. In 16 years RCB has qualified for the playoff or the top four positions eight times.

Here we look at the team’s performances over the years.

RCB's Performance over the years


Season (No. of Teams)CaptainPosition
2008 (8)RAHUL DRAVID 7th
2010 (8) ANIL KUMBLE3rd
2012 (9) DANIEL VETTORI5th
2013 (9) VIRAT KOHLI5th
2014 (8) VIRAT KOHLI7th
2015 (8) VIRAT KOHLIPlay-offs
2016 (8) VIRAT KOHLIRunner up
2018 (8) VIRAT KOHLI6th
2019 (8) VIRAT KOHLI8th
2020 (8) VIRAT KOHLIPlay-offs
2021 (8) VIRAT KOHLIPlay-offs
2022 (10) FAF DU PLESSISPlay-offs
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2009: Runner up, Captains: Kevin Pietersen, Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli in IPL .jpeg

After a poor start in the league in the inaugural season where the team finished 7th, RCB made a good comeback finishing as the runner-ups in the 2nd season held in South Africa. The team signed England batter Kevin Pietersen for USD 1.55 million, making him the joint highest-paid player in the league and appointed him as the skipper.

He led the team in the first seven games of which RCB won 3 before being ruled out of the tournament. Former India Test captain Anil Kumble then took over the reins and took the team to the semis with 5 wins in the remaining 7 league matches. The team defeated Chennai Super Kings in the semifinals but lost to Deccan Chargers in the final despite Kumble taking 4/16 with the ball.

2010: 3rd Place, Captain: Anil Kumble

Kumble was retained as the skipper in the next season with 21-year-old Virat Kohli appointed as the vice-captain. RCB won 7 of their 14 league matches and with 14 points on the table, were tied with CSK, Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders. 

CSK had a better net run rate and entered the playoffs taking the number 3 spot on the table, RCB outdid DD and KKR on net run rate and entered as the 4th team. In the semifinal, they lost to Mumbai Indians by 35 runs and defeated Deccan Chargers to finish 3rd. Skipper Kumble picked up 4/16 in his last-ever IPL game.

2011: Runner up, Captains: Daniel Vettori, Virat Kohli

RCB only retained Virat Kohli despite 5 players being allowed per team with the tournament expanding to 10 teams and announced Daniel Vettori as their skipper. They signed Saurabh Tiwary for a whopping USD 1.6 million and had to replace injured fast bowler Dirk Nannes mid-season with hard-hitting opener Chris Gayle who finished as their leading run-getter with 608 runs that year. 

Kohli captained the team in 3 matches with Vettori missing out due to a knee injury, the team topped the group stage and reached the qualifiers where after losing to CSK, they had another opportunity to make the finals by playing Mumbai Indians in the 2nd qualifier. RCB won that game by 43 runs and proceeded to the finals losing out to CSK by 58 runs.

2015: Play-offs, Captain: Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli with RCB Jesrsy in IPL 2016.jpeg

The RCB batting triumvirate of Kohli, Gayle and AB de Villiers was magnificent in the eighth season of IPL. After failing to make the playoffs for three seasons straight, the team finished third in the points table winning 7 games out of 14 under Kohli’s leadership. 

In their away fixture against MI, Kohli and de Villiers added 215 unbeaten runs for the 2nd wicket with the Proteas batter hitting an unbeaten 133. It was the biggest-ever partnership for any wicket in T20 cricket. In the eliminator, they defeated Rajasthan Royals by 71 runs but lost to CSK in the second qualifier by 3 wickets. 

2016: Runner-up, Captain: Virat Kohli

The team flourished under Kohli’s captaincy and made the playoffs yet again. The skipper led with example scoring an astonishing 973 runs with 4 centuries to his name. Allrounder Shane Watson and legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal both picked up 20 wickets helping RCB win 8 out of 14 games in the league stage. Kohli and de Villiers repeated history adding 229 runs for the 2nd wicket against Gujarat Lions, overhauling their record made the previous year. 

RCB won 4 back-to-back matches and won their 5th consecutive match in the qualifier jumping straight to reach the finals where they were heartbroken by an 8-run defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

2020: Play-offs, Captain: Virat Kohli

After suffering a big slump in performances after 2016 when the team finished at the bottom of the table twice, the Kohli-led team made a comeback in the 14th edition of the league which was played in the UAE inside a COVID bio bubble. 

The campaign started with a 10-wicket win versus SRH, a 97-run loss against Kings XI Punjab, and then a tie with Mumbai Indians that RCB won in the super over. RCB won half of their games in the league stage and lost their last 4 games yet managing a spot in the eliminator thanks to a higher net run rate than KKR. 

Playing against SRH in the eliminator, RCB scored a modest 131/7 which was chased down in the final with 6 wickets in hand.

2021: Play-offs, Captain: Virat Kohli

RCB signed Australian allrounder Glenn Maxwell for a whopping INR 14.25 crore in the auction, a move that proved brilliant for the side as Maxwell finished as the leading run scorer for them with 513 runs in 14 innings. The team started in some fashion winning the first 4 games on the trot but then lost 4 of their next 5 games and squared off the league phase winning 4 of their last 5 matches finishing the stage at number 3 in the points table.

The eliminator against KKR was almost a repeat of the previous edition’s eliminator game against SRH. RCB batted first and scored 138/7 with KKR chasing the target by 6 wickets and 2 deliveries to spare. This was also AB de Villiers’ final IPL game who scored 4491 runs for RCB in 144 innings across 11 seasons.

2022: Plays offs, Captain: Faf du Plessis

Faf du Plessis Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell RCB IPL.jpegThe 10-team IPL was back with the teams divided into 2 virtual groups. RCB made some changes in the personnel with Faf du Plessis taking over the captaincy from Virat Kohli who also was free of the role from the national side. The tournament was limited to only 5 cities with the league phase completely played in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune. 

RCB started with a loss, 3 consecutive wins and then another defeat. In a league phase of mixed results, they ended up with 16 points on the table confirming qualification as the number 4 team. 

In a high-scoring eliminator, Rajat Patidar (112*) became the 1st uncapped player to score a hundred in an IPL playoff leading the team to a 14-run win. Patidar top scored in the qualifier as well but 157/8 wasn’t a big enough total for Rajasthan Royals who cruised to the total by 7 wickets and ended as the runners-up.

How Many Times RCB Qualified For Final

2009 IPL vs Deccan Chargers

RCB had a good second season after a false start in 2008 and after Kevin Pietersen injured himself, Anil Kumble took over the captaincy for the rest of the season and led the team to the finals where they had Deccan Chargers for company. 

Kumble won the toss and elected to bowl first in Johannesburg. The skipper bowled a beautiful spell of 4/16 to restrict DC to 143/6. Herschelle Gibbs was the top scorer with 53 in 48 balls. In response, Roelof van der Merwe batting at 3, played an attacking knock of 32 in 21 deliveries but didn’t have enough backing as Pragyan Ojha (3/28) led an assault with Harmeet Singh and Andrew Symonds taking a couple of wickets each restricting RCB to 137/9 in their 20 overs and winning their first and only title.

2011 IPL vs Chennai Super Kings

Two years later RCB reached the final once again and faced a strong Chennai Super Kings side who won the toss and decided to bat first scoring a mammoth 205/5 with opener Murali Vijay top scoring with 95 and sharing a 159-run opening stand with Michael Hussey (63).

Chris Gayle starred with the ball (2/34) with Sreenath Aravind taking 2 wickets as well but the Jamaican maestro failed to open his account with the bat in hand on the big occasion as RCB slumped to 147/8 in their 20 overs. Saurabh Tiwary top-scored with an unbeaten 42. R Ashwin picked 3/16 with left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati taking 2 wickets for 21 runs to win CSK their second title.

2016 IPL vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

RCB vs SRH IPL 2016 David warner and Virat Kohli.jpegSo close yet so far for RCB again. Playing their third final, RCB were asked to chase by Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner who scored 69 in 38 balls to put 208/7 on the board, the highest ever in an IPL final. He was helped by some healthy contributions lower in the order from Ben Cutting (39* off 15) and Yuvraj Singh (38 off 23). 

Chris Jordan picked up 3 wickets but conceded 45 runs in his spell, Sreenath Aravind bowled economically and picked up 2 wickets. Openers Chris Gayle (76 off 38) and Kohli (54 off 35) added 114 for the first wicket in 63 balls but the middle order failed to carry on the momentum. With 19 runs needed in the final over and 4 wickets in hand, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan and Iqbal Abdulla could score only 9 runs off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and lost the game by 8 runs.



MUMBAI INDIANS24713810555.87
DELHI CAPITALS23910512743.93
PUNJAB KINGS23210412444.83
RAJASTHAN ROYALS20810110048.56
GUJARAT LIONS30131643.33
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How Many Matches RCB Won

The Royal Challengers Bangalore has played 242 matches in the sixteen seasons of the Indian Premier League winning 114 of those encounters, losing 120 with 3 games tied and 5 finishing without any result. The team has a win percentage of 47.11. KKR, CSK and MI have won more matches than RCB in the history of the tournament. 

Despite a decent number in the winning charts, RCB has failed to win a single title and has ended up as runner-up on three occasions. The 2011 season was the best season for the team where they won 10 games, the most in a season by RCB so far.

Dillip Mohanty
Dillip MohantySports Editor

Dillip has over two decades of experience in creating sports content. As the Sports Editor of SportsBoom, Dillip brings in a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. Dillip has worked with leading sports broadcasters and sports web content portals in Asia. He is an adept storyteller and has a special liking for data stories. He has a keen interest in data analysis and uncovering insights from large datasets. He loves to tell the story with rich and compelling data visualisation.