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IPL 2020: Gautam Gambhir slams Virat Kohli’s captaincy as RCB lose to KXIP

RCB lost to KXIP by 97 runs (Picture credit:
RCB lost to KXIP by 97 runs (Picture credit:
Modified 25 Sep 2020, 17:05 IST

Former India captain Gautam Gambhir criticised Virat Kohli’s captaincy in the loss against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) last night, particularly for bowling part-timer Shivam Dube in the 20th over. Despite more experienced bowlers being available, Virat Kohli chose Dube for the last over. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) all-rounder conceded 23 runs in the final over as KXIP posted 206 for three.

Dube had conceded a meagre 10 runs from his first two overs. But, speaking on ESPNcricinfo’s analysis show ‘T20 Time Out’, Gambhir said that he would have bowled any of the specialist bowlers in the last over.

“I know Shivam Dube bowled really well in his first two overs. Yes, you would be tempted to give him a third over, but not the last over. When KL Rahul is already set and batting on 100+, you are walking on the edge, because that can happen... I would have Navdeep Saini or Dale Steyn bowling the last over, even though Steyn is not the best death bowler. But I would have given the last over to the best bowler of the team,” Gambhir said.

Virat Kohli tossed the ball to Dube with KL Rahul batting on 116 and KXIP’s score on 183 for three. The total soared past the 200-run mark as KL Rahul plundered 16 runs off the final three deliveries to register the highest individual score by an Indian in IPL history – 132 not out.

Gambhir, who guided the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to two IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014, stated that he would have still preferred Umesh Yadav, who conceded 35 runs in three overs, to bowl the final over.

“You (Virat Kohli) finished off Navdeep Saini in the 17th over. Probably, you could have used Umesh Yadav, who did not have the best of the days. But Shivam Dube bowling the last over was a bad calculation,” added the former India opener.

Virat Kohli dropping KL Rahul twice had a huge impact: Gambhir

What also worked in KXIP and KL Rahul’s favour was that Virat Kohli dropped him twice (on 83 and 89) – one off Steyn’s bowling in the 17th over and, then again in the following over off Navdeep Saini.

“Had KL Rahul got out for 86-89, Kings XI would have scored 185, and chasing that would have been completely different gameplan for RCB. That is how it happened, that is what T20 cricket is. Small mistakes can make a huge difference as well. It was a huge impact, especially from th results point of view,” Gambhir signed off.

Virat Kohli could also not contribute with the bat, scoring only 1 run off 5 balls as RCB lost wickets early, hampering their chase.

The 97-run loss pushed RCB down to sixth in the points table. They would look to make things right when they play defending champions Mumbai Indians in Dubai on Monday.

Check out IPL 2020 schedule

Published 25 Sep 2020, 17:03 IST
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