Ranking the Top 3 Underperforming Teams of IPL

Three IPL teams, none of which have secured victory in the tournament, are frequently labelled as the least successful franchises. Explore further details about these teams in this article.

Umaima Saeed
Umaima Saeed

Last Updated: 2024-01-30

Dillip Mohanty

5 minutes read

In the glamorous world of the Indian Premier League (IPL), where victories and glitzy moments take centre stage, there exist teams that have faced more heartbreaks than wins. This article digs into the most unsuccessful team in the IPL, a franchise that's been stuck in a cycle of challenges and a constant quest for that elusive win.

In the 16 editions of the IPL, three teams—excluding those that were dissolved and the two newly added in 2021—are yet to secure a tournament victory. The journey of these teams has been more about setbacks and less about celebrations.

RCB's Journey in IPL

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have always had a huge fan base because of their association with Virat Kohli. However, the team has not had much success in the IPL, despite coming close to the title on a few occasions.

Over the years, the franchise has showcased a mix of thrilling performances and challenges. From 2008 to 2023, the team has experienced a rollercoaster ride in terms of its on-field success.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Standings in IPL

YearLeague standingFinal standing
20087th out of 8League stage
20093rd out of 8Runners-up
20104th out of 8Playoffs
20111st out of 10Runners-up
20125th out of 9League stage
20135th out of 9League stage
20147th out of 8League stage
20153rd out of 8Playoffs
20162nd out of 8Runners-up
20178th out of 8League stage
20186th out of 8League stage
20198th out of 8League stage
20204th out of 8Playoffs
20213rd out of 8Playoffs
20223rd out of 10Playoffs
20236th out of 10League stage
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With star-studded line-ups featuring iconic players like Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Faf du Plessis, the team has delivered memorable moments for its fans. However, despite their star power, RCB have faced challenges in clinching the IPL trophy.

Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers IPL RCB Batting.jpeg

While RCB have never won the trophy, they have finished runner-up on three occasions between 2009 and 2016. The team boasts the IPL records for both the highest and lowest totals – scoring 263/5 and a challenging 49 all out.

So far, the team has been led by seven different captains - Rahul Dravid, Kevin Pietersen, Anil Kumble, Daniel Vettori, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis and Kohli. Kohli led the team in 143 matches, winning 66 and losing 70. Overall, RCB have played 241 matches, winning 114 and losing 120. They have a win percentage of 48.73.

Despite never winning the title, RCB continue to receive unwavering support from fans, who create an electrifying atmosphere in the stadiums year after year. 

Punjab Kings in IPL

The Punjab Kings, formerly known as the Kings XI Punjab, have had their share of ups and downs since the inception of the IPL in 2008, and are considered the most unsuccessful team in the IPL.

In the early years, Punjab Kings displayed promise but struggled to find consistent success. They reached the semi-finals in the inaugural season but faced difficulties in maintaining momentum. Over the following seasons, the team underwent various changes in leadership and player composition, attempting to strike the right balance for a winning formula.

Punjab Kings

Standings in IPL

YearLeague standingFinal standing
20082nd out of 8Semi-finalists
20095th out of 8League stage
20108th out of 8League stage
20115th out of 10League stage
20126th out of 9League stage
20136th out of 9League stage
20141st out of 8Runners up
20158th out of 8League stage
20168th out of 8League stage
20175th out of 8League stage
20187th out of 8League stage
20196th out of 8League stage
20206th out of 8League stage
20216th out of 8League stage
20226th out of 10League stage
20238th out of 10League stage
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One of the notable seasons for Punjab Kings was in 2014, when they reached the final under the captaincy of George Bailey. Despite finishing as the runners-up, it marked a significant achievement for the franchise and hinted at their potential for success. However, sustaining that success proved to be elusive in the subsequent years. From 2008 to 2023, the Punjab Kings have been able to make it to the playoffs only twice.

George Bailey and Gautam Gambhir with 2024 IPL Trophy.jpeg

From Ravichandran Ashwin to KL Rahul, various cricketers have taken the helm for Punjab Kings, but they haven't steered the team to IPL victory.

The franchise has had a total of 10 head coaches over 16 years, the highest among all franchises. Punjab Kings don't wait around if a player isn't doing well; they quickly make changes to their playing XI, bringing in new players. Too many changes, too frequently, have done more harm than good to the Kings. In the overall IPL journey, the team has played 232 matches, clinching victory in 104 while facing defeat in 124.

The team name was changed to Punjab Kings from Kings XI Punjab in February 2021. But that too did not bring any luck to their fortune. According to popular opinion, Punjab Kings is the worst IPL team ever. 

Delhi Capitals's Journey in IPL

Initially known as the Delhi Daredevils, the team reached the semi-finals in 2008 and 2009, but struggled to find consistent success in the seasons that followed, often finishing in the bottom half of the table. They began to be known as the worst team in the IPL. However, in recent seasons, the franchise underwent a strategic overhaul and rebranding, transforming into the Delhi Capitals. That did not help them win a title, but their performances have improved in the last few years. 

Delhi Capitals

Standings in IPL

YearLeague standingFinal standing
20084th out of 8Semi-finalists
20091st out of 8Semi-finalists
20105th out of 8League stage
201110th out of 10League stage
20121st out of 9Playoffs
20139th out of 9League stage
20148th out of 8League stage
20157th out of 8League stage
20166th out of 8League stage
20176th out of 8League stage
20188th out of 8League stage
20193rd out of 8Playoffs
20202nd out of 8Runners-up
20211st out of 8Playoffs
20225th out of 10League stage
20239th out of 10League stage
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From 2008 to 2023, the team has exhibited a diverse performance record in the IPL. They concluded the league stage in 10 seasons, making it to the playoffs in six, notably securing a runners-up position in 2020. However, in IPL 2023, led by David Warner, Delhi Capitals faced a challenging phase, failing to qualify for the playoffs. Finishing at the 9th spot with five victories and nine losses, the team encountered difficulties. Key players like Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel, and Mitchell Marsh struggled with form, contributing to inconsistencies in both batting and bowling departments, ultimately impacting their overall performance during the season.

Prithvi Shaw and david Warner Delhi Capitals IPL Team.jpeg

The highlight of Delhi's 16-year journey has been their maiden final appearance in 2020. Despite a spirited campaign, Delhi Capitals faced a tough challenge in the title clash. They faltered as their top order struggled against Mumbai's relentless bowling attack, notably Trent Boult's early breakthroughs. Later, their bowlers were unable to defend 156.

Overall, Delhi Capitals have played 238 matches, won 105 and lost 127.


Which are the worst IPL teams?

Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings and Delhi Capitals are considered the worst IPL teams because they have not won a single title in 16 seasons.

Which was the worst team in IPL 2023?

Sunrisers Hyderabad was the worst team in IPL 2023. The Sunrisers won only four of their 14 matches and finished the season as the wooden spooners. 

Umaima Saeed
Umaima SaeedSports Writer

Umaima Saeed is a professional sports writer whose articles have been featured in several leading websites. She writes long-form content on sports, particularly cricket. She has a penchant for telling human-interest stories. Umaima has contributed articles on cricket to more than a dozen publications, both in print and online.