Opinion: RCB’s inability to reach the knockout stage is good news for Kohli and India
When the rains intervened yet again in the already reduced five overs-a-side-match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals, there was an unmistakable smile on the face of RCB’s captain Virat Kohli.
The rains had brought an end to any little hope RCB might have had of reaching the knock out stage of the IPL this season. But seeing its captain, and for that matter most of his players, not in a gloomy mood came as not much of a surprise. Usually, Kohli is one of the most expressive cricketers on the field, who wears his heart on his sleeve.
So, maybe he was happy for two reasons despite his team’s failure to reach the semi-finals. Firstly, the rains possibly saved his team from yet another defeat. Secondly, this would mean that he no longer has to worry about the IPL and be focused fully on the real thing – the upcoming ICC World Cup in England.
But regardless of what Kohli’s reasons may be, from the point of view of an Indian cricket fan, RCB’s inability to reach the knock out stage is actually a blessing in disguise. It ensures that Kohli will get the required rest, and take care of whatever niggles he may have suffered during the tournament. And it is not just the physical aspect, mentally he would be relaxed and will ensure that he leaves behind the high pressure environment of the IPL.
With only a few weeks left before the World Cup, it is important from an Indian perspective that its captain and most dependable batsman is fresh and ready for the World Cup. His century which came in the latter stages of the IPL campaign will also help him feel confident about his form and assure the Indian fans.
The fact that he came out of this tournament without any major injury concernx is terrific news in itself. So, the failure of his IPL franchise ironically could be a big factor in his possible success as the captain of the Indian cricket team in the world cup.