With IPL 2019 few days from kickoff Gautam Gambhir, former KKR and Delhi franchisee captain in a cricket show has lashed out at Virat Kohli’s captaincy. Gambhir, who has won 2 IPL titles with KKR and led with distinction bluntly stated that Virat Kohli is extremely lucky to be still holding the RCB captaincy for so long ( since 2012) as the franchisee had a very unsuccessful stint under him ( only 2 playoff spots in 8 years ). Gambhir did not speak very highly of Kohli’s tactical awareness as captain and said that he has a long way to go and extremely fortunate to still be captain as other franchisees have not shown much patience with their unsuccessful captains and went ahead and sacked them for lack of results.
Looking at the scenario of RCB captaincy from a neutral angle , Gambhir’s statement does hold some grounds as Kohli had a very long rope as the captain but inspite of having a fine batting lineup at his disposal with some great matchwinners ,he could not lead RCB to a title. Moreover his lack of patience in giving a longer rope to some of this team members have led to insecurities in the minds of players who did not get the time to settle into their roles which prevented RCB from building good combinations which is required in a long tournament. Kohli has a far more successful record as Indian captain , but here too he has missed out on overseas test series wins in South Africa and England in 2018 due to faulty team selections, too many changes and occasional tactical errors inspite of a great bowling attack at his disposal. Finally he managed a great overseas win vs Australia, who were however without two of their batting stars.
As the RCB captain Kohli needs to focus on two areas: trying to build a proper team combination and be more patient with team selections, allowing the players to settle into their roles. If he is able to get his act together ,RCB can become one of the threats in 2019 as they now have the bowling ammunition to support their batting though releasing in form Decock may not be a sensible decision.
Royal Challengers Bangaluru can explore another option, which is to make AB Divillers the captain and allow Kohli to play freely as a batsman. It can help the franchisee to have a different thought process and will also help Kohli to play with much less pressure as he is already handling the pressure of leading the national team. Time has also come for Kohli to enjoy his game when he is not playing in Indian colours.