Ray Jennings, the former Royal Challengers Bangalore coach, says Indian skipper Virat Kohli often backed wrong players but cannot be blamed as his ideology was different. With a win percentage of 60, Kohli is currently the most successful Indian captain in Test cricket. His win percentage in ODIs is 71.83 and 64.86 in T20Is.
His record in white-ball cricket is also something remarkable, but somehow, Virat Kohli has so far failed to replicate the same when leading Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. Virat Kohli at times backed the wrong players, which may have hurt their chances in the previous editions of the IPL.
Ray Jennings Says IPL Different From International Cricket
Ray Jennings, had coached RCB between 2009 and 2014, said he wanted certain players to play a particular role for the franchise but skipper Virat Kohli had different plans.
“If I have to look back then I would say that in IPL there used to be 25-30 players (in the squad) and it was the coach’s duty to look after all the players. Sometimes he was a bit of a loner in the team. Sometimes, he backed the wrong players. But, you can’t blame him for that. I wanted certain players to bowl or bat in certain conditions/situations but he had different ideas,” Jennings told Cricket.com.
Ray Jennings, under whom RCB saw their best years, reaching the finals of the tournament twice, explained how leading an IPL side could be so much different from international cricket.
“See, IPL is very different from international cricket. When I was there certain players should have played more but he has different views. However, that is in the past and it’s nice to see him maturing day by day and he will start winning IPL trophies,” he said.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have finished as runners-up in 2009 and 2011 under the guidance of Ray Jennings and were runners-up again in 2016 when Virat Kohli was in superb form. He amassed 973 runs in 16 matches averaging a staggering 81.08 including as many as 4 centuries in 2016.
Ray Jennings Says IPL Game Of Small Margins And Credits Virat Kohli For Having Unbelievable Cricket Brain
When asked about Virat Kohli being at the forefront of RCB’s leadership group and yet not getting the desired results, Ray Jennings said IPL is a game of small margins and expected the skipper to get better with every game.
“We shouldn’t forget IPL is a game of small margins. He has made it to the semi-finals (playoffs) and final and he will definitely achieve a lot more success in the coming years. But, I can understand that since a captain has a lot on his plate. Also, the auction is a very important factor (in the team’s performance),” he said.
The South African, who worked with Virat Kohli during his formative years in the IPL, had high praise for IPL’s current highest run-scorer, believing the RCB captain’s best is yet to come. Virat Kohli has 5412 runs from 177 matches averaging 37.84 with 5 centuries besides his name.
“Virat Kohli has always been an unbelievable cricket brain. He sets very high standards (for himself) and we went along despite one or two problems. Nice to see him grow as a player and now as a captain. His best is yet to come,” Jennings said.
Raymond Vernon Jennings is a former South African cricketer. He was one of South Africa’s leading wicket-keepers during the suspension of the South African national team from international cricket during the apartheid era. He took over as coach of the Royal Challengers Bangalore for the second season of the IPL in 2009.