Gautam Gambhir Questions Whether Eoin Morgan Or Team Analyst Captains KKR In IPL 2021
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Gautam Gambhir Questions Whether Eoin Morgan Or Team Analyst Captains KKR In IPL 2021

Gautam Gambhir has taken a sly dig at Eoin Morgan | Photo: IANS/ BCCI
Gautam Gambhir has taken a sly dig at Eoin Morgan | Photo: IANS/ BCCI

Gautam Gambhir took a sly dig at Eoin Morgan for making the most of the statistics from the team analyst while taking on-field decisions as the captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) franchise in the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). A remarkable second phase in the 2021 season of the IPL has paved the way for the Eoin Morgan-led KKR side to enter the playoffs stage of the cash-rich league.

Eoin Morgan-led KKR finished a step ahead of defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) on the IPL 2021 points table to secure the fourth and final spot for the playoffs. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) won five games out of seven in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 to complete a remarkable turnaround and seal a spot in the playoffs.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir Unsure Whether Eoin Morgan Captains KKR On Field Or The Captaincy Is Done By Video Analyst Off Field

Speaking on ESPNcricinfo show ‘Runorder’, the former KKR skipper under whom KKR won twice in 2012 and 2014 expressed his reservations about Eoin Morgan leading his side as an on-field captain.

“Morgan’s point of view, I’m not sure because he doesn’t captain, so it’s the video analyst that captains the side. He only just looks at the video analyst, so I don’t know whether he’s the captain on the field or (if the) captaincy is happening off the field,” Gautam  Gambhir said. 

Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan (Image Credit: Twitter)

The two-time IPL-winning captain then shared his views about Virat Kohli’s captaincy in his final season as RCB skipper. Though Gautam Gambhir has not enjoyed a lot of Virat Kohli’s captaincy in the IPL, the former DC skipper admitted that the RCB star has been outstanding for the Bangalore franchise.

“Virat has been fabulous. Honestly, I have not enjoyed a lot of his captaincy, but this time around, he’s been very, very good. Probably the reason is that he thinks this is his last time as captain in IPL, (so) he wants to enjoy it more; he’s just more relaxed. And he’s got the bowlers this time..,” Gautam Gambhir opined. 

As two-time champions, Kolkata has joined Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), and Delhi Capitals (DC) in the final four of the IPL 2021, former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir has rated all four leaders of the qualified IPL teams in the build-up to the business end of the competition.

Gautam Gambhir: MS Dhoni Is The No. 1 Skipper As He Can Handle Captaincy Pressure Best

Gautam Gambhir also lauded CSK skipper MS Dhoni for scripting Chennai’s comeback in the 14th edition of the T20 tournament after not qualifying for playoffs for the first time in IPL 2020. The former Indian cricketer and full-time cricket pundit feel the legendary CSK skipper is the numero uno captain of the IPL 2021.

MS Dhoni has guided CSK to the playoffs for the 11th time in the cash-rich league’s history. MS Dhoni-led CSK will play the first Qualifier against Rishabh Pant-led Delhi Capitals on Sunday.

Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni
Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Purely from the captaincy point of view who can handle the pressure best, probably has to be Dhoni. Rishabh has the advantage from a point of view that he’s got a lot of experience in the playing XI. If Steve Smith plays, he’s got him alongside. He has got Ravichandran Ashwin who has captained earlier as well… so for me Dhoni is No. 1 at the moment,” Gautam Gambhir added.

Among the four teams that have reached the playoffs this year, only the Chennai Super Kings (thrice) and KKR (twice) have won an IPL title before. DC made their best-ever finish by reaching the finals in IPL 2020, and RCB has been runners-up thrice without clinching the trophy. RCB has played three finals in the IPL but lost all of them (in 2009 to the Deccan Chargers, 2011 to the Chennai Super Kings, and 2016 to Sunrisers Hyderabad).

As far as Qualifier 1 is concerned, there hasn’t been clarity on the availability of DC’s Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis as yet. Still, with Delhi seemingly grooming Ripal Patel as the fill-in, it won’t be a surprise if they go in unchanged. So the one possible change to CSK’s playing eleven could be the inclusion of Suresh Raina in place of Robin Uthappa, who hasn’t made the most of the two opportunities handed to him.

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