IPL 2019: Why Gautam Gambhir's comments on Virat Kohli are not unwarranted
Former India opener and Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir evoked controversy on Monday by stating that current India captain and his former Delhi teammate Virat Kohli has been lucky to be retained as skipper by Royal Challengers Bangalore even after not winning the IPL yet.
Gambhir went as far as to suggest that Kohli cannot be spoken of as being a tactical or shrewd captain, and that he cannot compared to Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rohit Sharma, who have both led their teams, the Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians respectively, to IPL championships win thrice each.
Although Gambhir's comments may have drawn the ire of a section of the media and some passionate fans, the statistics back him up. Considering Kohli's track record and his long history of failure with RCB, what Gambhir has said may not be completely unwarranted.
Some cynical supporters drew references to a public spat that the duo had during IPL19, stating that that might have been the reason why Gambhir chose to attack Kohli. But that doesn't seem to have had nothing to do with Gambhir's current opinion, which is based on facts.
Kohli, as the records show, has led RCB in 96 games, in which there have been 44 wins and 48 defeats (and four no results). After taking over the captaincy full-time in 2012, he has led the Royal Challengers to the playoffs only twice.
While many reasons can be drawn as to why such a brilliant team consisting of fabulous individual players has failed on a consistent basis, the writing is finally on the wall. And there is no denying that Kohli is indeed lucky to have been retained as skipper.
Gambhir was also on point when he said that other skippers have not been as fortunate as Kohli has been in the IPL, a league that has little room for sentiment and reputation. Even someone like Dhoni was not retained as skipper by Rising Pune Supergiant, after an unsuccessful first season.
Kohli's continued presence at the helm of RCB may be due to the fact that the other experienced players in the lineup, including a certain AB de Villiers, are not keen on taking up the captaincy. That leaves Kohli, who is unarguably the best limited-overs batsman in the world and the current India captain, as the only man for the job.
Perhaps the Royal Challengers' management may have sought brownie points through this decision. But it has clearly not worked for the benefit of the team.
Kohli the batsman has been fantastic in the IPL, amassing over 4948 runs in 155 innings with 4 centuries and 34 half-centuries. But Kohli the captain must turn up soon if the Royal Challengers are to have any hopes of making it to the playoffs this season.
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