Former Indian Opener, Gautam Gambhir has been highly critical of – current Indian Cricket captain and RCB captain – Virat Kohli’s captaincy of late. While there are few denying the fact that Virat is one of the most passionate scholars of the game, this is also true that neither team India nor RCB has won a single ICC or IPL trophy under his captaincy.
After conceding a 6- wicket mauling by Delhi Capitals in the 55th match of Indian Premier League, Royal Challengers Bangalore was almost out of the race for Playoffs. However, a slightly better net run rate saw them qualify for playoffs ahead of KKR. In eliminator 1, RCB were up against rampaging Sunrisers Hyderabad, who stormed into playoff winning their last three matches in league stage. SRH made short work of RCB threat to knocked them out of the tournament.
After RCB lost the match, Gautam Gambhir has questioned RCB management’s decision to stick with Virat Kohli – the captain. “Eight years is a long, long time. Look at what happened to R Ashwin. Two years of captaincy [for the Kings XI Punjab], he couldn’t deliver and he was removed. We talk about MS Dhoni, we talk about Rohit Sharma, we talk about Virat Kohli…not at all.
“Dhoni has won three [IPL] titles, Rohit Sharma has won four titles, and that’s the reason they’ve captained for such a long time because they’ve delivered. I’m sure if Rohit Sharma wouldn’t have delivered for eight years, he would have been removed as well. There should not be different yardsticks for different people.
“The problem and the accountability starts from the top, not from the management nor the support staff, but from the leader. You’re the leader, you’re the captain. When you get the credit, you should take the criticism as well,” Gautam Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo.
On the other hand, Gautam Gambhir’s long time opening partner Virendra Sehwag defended Virat Kohli and said that RCB management should look to a strong core around AB and Kohli to strengthen the team.
“Eight years is a long time. It’s not that Kohli isn’t experienced. He captains India, he captains whichever team he plays for, but you’ve got to give results, you’ve got to deliver. Sport is all about delivering,” he added.
“A captain is only as good as his team. When Virat Kohli captains India, he is able to deliver the results. He wins matches – ODIs, T20Is Tests. But when he captains RCB, his team is not able to perform,” Virender Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
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“It is very important for the captain to have a good team. So, I believe the management should not try and think of changing their captain and rather think of how they can improve this team. Who all should be added to the team to make sure their performance improves?”
“Every team has a settled batting order but RCB have never had that. It’s only ABD and Virat, who keep shuffling up and down the order. With Padikkal coming to the fore, I reckon RCB need to have one more opener and a good lower-order batsman,” Virender Sehwag said.
“These five batsmen should be enough to win them matches. The same way, they’d have to trust their Indian fast bowlers. Everyone gets taken to the cleaners. It’s not as if Rabada, Morris and others haven’t been taken for runs.” he added.