Gautam Gambhir, who has won two IPL titles as captain, has slammed Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli for not delivering for 8 long years now. Gambhir has added that he holds nothing against Virat Kohli but it was time for the 32-year-old to raise his hands and take the responsibility of team’s title-less run in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
To validate his comments, the former India opener said that Kohli’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI) counterparts, MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma have been long-standing captains of their teams because of their deliverance. Gambhir asserted tha MI management would have have removed Rohit Sharma from captaincy for a failure of 8 longs years.
“Eight years is a long, long time. Look at what happened to R Ashwin. Two years of captaincy [for the Kings XI Punjab], he couldn’t deliver and he was removed. We talk about MS Dhoni, we talk about Rohit Sharma, we talk about Virat Kohli…not at all. Dhoni has won three [IPL] titles, Rohit Sharma has won four titles, and that’s the reason they’ve captained for such a long time because they’ve delivered. I’m sure if Rohit Sharma wouldn’t have delivered for eight years, he would have been removed as well. There should not be different yardsticks for different people.
“The problem and the accountability starts from the top, not from the management nor the support staff, but from the leader. You’re the leader, you’re the captain. When you get the credit, you should take the criticism as well,” Gambhir has told ESPNcricinfo.
RCB did not deserve to be in the play-offs
After RCB lost to Delhi Capitals but still qualified for the play-offs on the basis of a better Net Run Rate (NRR) than Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Virat Kohli had said that his team deserved to be in the next stage because of the good cricket it had played. Gautam Gambhir picked that comment to slam Kohli further. He pointed out that RCB lost their ast 5 games on the trot, adding that they were lucky to win the Super Over eliminator against Mumbai Indians.
“You can keep saying ‘we qualified for the playoffs and we deserved to qualify for the playoffs’, absolutely not. RCB actually never deserved to qualify for the playoffs. If you see the last four or five games, and even that one Super Over against Mumbai Indians, they were very fortunate that Navdeep Saini bowled that over brilliantly. Otherwise they didn’t have a great season. From the batting point of view and the bowling.
“Eight years is a long time. It’s not that Kohli isn’t experienced. He captains India, he captains whichever team he plays for, but you’ve got to give results, you’ve got to deliver. Sport is all about delivering.”
Gambhir has also questioned Kohli’s opener role in the eliminator
Virat Kohli surprised everyone after he came to open the innings with Devdutt Padikkal in the Eliminator versus SRH on Friday. The move was even more interesting, considering that Aaron Finch was also in the playing XI. The experiment failed as Kohli departed after scoring just 6 runs. Gambhir has reckoned that Kohli should have opened the batting throughout, if at he wanted to bat at that position.
“There was so much talk about Virat Kohli opening the batting, if you wanted to open the batting, you should have done that right from the start of the tournament. And then they should have had a squad, probably if Virat wanted to open, they should have picked a middle-order batter in the auction. But again it was all about Virat and AB [de Villiers],” he said.