Former Indian captain and twice-IPL captain Gautam Gambhir believes it is time for Royal Challengers Bangalore to look beyond Virat Kohli as captain. Gambhir made his comment on ESPNcricinfo’s T20 Time Out show after Royal Challengers lost to Eliminator to Sunrisers Hyderabad by six points, ending their season with seven wins and eight defeats. Since finishing runners-up in 2016, Royal Challengers have finished in last place in two of the previous three seasons – 2019 and 2017 – in addition to being sixth in 2018. This time, they have made it to the round knockout thanks to net run rates despite a strong start to their campaign, but collapsed on Friday night with a fifth consecutive defeat after failing to defend 131.
Under the captaincy of Kohli since 2013, Royal Challengers have reached the knockout stages three times in eight seasons. Gambhir said it was time for Kohli to raise his hand and take responsibility for the results.
When asked if he would change the captain’s armband if he was in charge of the franchise, Gambhir said: “100%, because the problem is accountability. Eight more years in the league. [without a trophy], eight years is a long time. Tell me any other captain … forget the captain, tell me any other player that’s been eight years and won’t win the title and will continue with it. Therefore, it must be justified. A captain needs to take responsibility.
“It’s not just about a year, not just about this. I have nothing against Virat Kohli but somewhere, he needs to raise his hand and say, ‘yes, I’m responsible, I’m responsible. ‘.
“Eight years is a long, very long time. Look at what happened to R Ashwin. Two years as captain. [for the Kings XI Punjab], he couldn’t deliver and he was scrapped. We talk about MS Dhoni, we talk about Rohit Sharma, we talk about Virat Kohli … not at all. Dhoni won three [IPL] title, Rohit Sharma has won four trophies, and that is why they have been captain for such a long time because they delivered. I am sure that if Rohit Sharma does not deliver in 8 years, he will be eliminated. There should not be different metrics for different people.
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“Issues and accountability start from the top, not from the manager or the support staff, but from the leadership. You are the leader, you are the captain. When you are trusted, you too. should receive criticism.
“You can go on saying ‘we qualify for the knockout stages and we deserve to make it to the knockout stages’, absolutely not. In the Mumbai Indian match they were very lucky to have Navdeep Saini beat that excellently, otherwise they wouldn’t have had a great season from a batting and bowling point of view.
“Eight years is a long time. Not that Kohli has no experience. He leads India, he leads whatever team he plays for, but you have to give results, you have to tribute. Donation. Sport is all about distribution. “
Royal Challengers opened the match against Kohli for the first time this season on Friday, after 14 games. Gambhir said if Kohli had to kick off, it should have happened at the start of the season, rather than changing the combination in a knockout match.
“There’s been so much talk about Virat Kohli opening, if you want to start, you should have done it right from the start of the tournament,” said Gambhir. “And then they should have a team, maybe if Virat wants to open, they should pick a mid-ranger in the auction. But again, it’s all about Virat and AB. [de Villiers]. “
Royal Challengers’ reliance on Kohli and de Villiers continued. Although their top scorer this time was 20-year-old opener Devdutt Padikkal with a total of 473, followed closely by Kohli (466) and de Villiers (454), an inexperienced midfield meant they were extra. Belonging to de Villiers once again gives strong end. De Villiers hit five half a century – including one on Friday – and ended IPL 2020 with strike rates close to 159.
“Imagine if AB is going to have a bad season, tell me what will happen to RCB,” said Gambhir. “He’s someone who actually won them two or three games out of seven. I don’t think as a unit they have done anything different from what they did last year. too. Just because you ‘qualified for the knockout rounds, just for the sheer excellence of an individual, that doesn’t make you a strong candidate for the IPL.’
Former Indian tennis player Sanjay Manjrekar agreed to Gambhir on the show about the needed leadership change for Royal Challengers, but he said the reason for that was due to the owners of the franchise.
“The captain himself doesn’t have a lot of responsibility, it has to belong to the owner because they are the ones who appoint the captain and decide what type of leadership they want for the team,” Manjrekar said. “A few years ago I made this comment that when you look at what’s going on with the RCB, you’ll see that the results are not good at all, and the same thing happened to the leadership team in one. Daniel Vettori is Virat’s coach, and so is the captain.
“If you want to change the scenario and change the outcome, you have to change the captain. But I don’t expect Virat Kohli to raise your hand and say, ‘I haven’t delivered.’ I want the owners to do the job.” If the RCB fails to win the title, I will first hold the owners to take responsibility for not having the right leader to give them winning results and the plan has finish. “
Gambhir also said he feels fond of the franchise’s support staff, who have changed over the years, while the captain remains the same. Gambhir said it was “difficult” for people like Simon Katich and Mike Hesson because if the coach or the team director “went straight” and asked to remove the captain, “they would be the first to be eliminated. “.
“Hopefully, this could be the last one … where the coin will fall for the franchise. So good luck for the RCB,” Manjrekar said.