IPL 2020: Gautam Gambhir Criticizes Virat Kohli's Captaincy

IPL 2020: Gautam Gambhir Criticizes Virat Kohli’s Captaincy

Gautam Gambhir, the former Indian batsman who twice won the IPL title while captaining KKR in 2012 and 2014, criticized Virat Kohli’s captaincy in the loss against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) last night, particularly for bowling part-timer Shivam Dube in the final 20th over.

Despite having more experienced death bowlers like Dale Steyn, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini, Virat Kohli chose inexperienced Shivam Dube for the last over. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) all-rounder conceded 23 runs in the final over as KXIP posted a mammoth 206 for three.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Gautam Gambhir: Shivam Dube Should Not Have Been Bowling Last Over

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

Shivam Dube
Shivam Dube. Image Credit: IPL.

Virat Kohli tossed the ball to Shivam Dube to bowl last over 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 hammered 16 runs off the final three deliveries to register the highest individual score by an Indian – 132 not out in IPL history.

Gautam 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, despite the latter conceding 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.

Umesh Yadav conceded 35 runs while Dale Steyn conceded as many as 57 runs. Navdeep Saini conceded 37 runs and the trio went wicket-less. Shivam Dube had conceded only 10 runs besides picking up 2 wickets in the first 2 overs but gave away 23 runs in the final over.

Gautam Gambhir: Virat Kohli Dropping KL Rahul Twice Had A Huge Impact

KL Rahul got an advantage when Virat Kohli dropped him twice when he was on 83 and 89 respectively one-off Dale Steyn’s bowling in the 17th over and, then again in the very next 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 the results point of view,” Gautam Gambhir signed off.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: BCCI/IPL)

Virat Kohli could also not contribute with the bat, scoring only 1 run off 5 balls as RCB lost wickets early, hampering their chase. At one time RCB were at 4/3 in the 3rd over but they recovered somewhat before being bundled out on 109 in the 17th over.

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

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