Virat Kohli could be removed as the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) mid-way through the ongoing UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL), a former India cricketer has said. Virat Kohli earlier announced that he will step down as the captain of RCB after IPL 2021 concludes. Earlier this week, Virat Kohli had announced that he will relinquish his India T20I captaincy after the upcoming T20I World Cup to be staged in the UAE and Oman.
The reason for his axe as skipper seems to be quite evident after witnessing RCB’s meek surrender against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on Monday. RCB had made a humiliating return to IPL’s UAE leg when they were bundled out for just 92 by KKR in their first match of Phase-2. It was RCB’s sixth-lowest total in IPL, as they lost to the Eoin Morgan-led KKR by nine wickets.
Virat Kohli May Be Sacked As RCB Skipper Midway In IPL 2021
After opting to bat by winning the toss against KKR, Virat Kohli (5 runs off 4 balls) fell prey to pacer Prasidh Krishna in just the second over of the match. The 32-year-old batsman was trapped plumb in front and a bad review call didn’t help his case either. Even the body language of Virat Kohli was not the same, as it used to be, throughout the match. He was actually emanating shades of a player who has just decided to step down as the captain of RCB after the conclusion of IPL 2021.
His call to step down before the start of the IPL 2021 UAE leg further was criticized by many including former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who had questioned the timing of his decision. He reckoned if Virat Kohli had to do something like that, he could have done it after the IPL was over. Some cricketers even went on suggesting that the team looked “unsettled” by the untimely announcement. One former India cricketer, on condition of anonymity said that it seems that Virat Kohli might be removed “mid-way”.
“Look at the way he was playing against Kolkata Knight Riders. Just clueless! It seems he is struggling big time right now. There are chances that he could be removed mid-way through the season. “
“It has happened earlier also with other teams — like with Dinesh Karthik in KKR and David Warner in Sunrisers Hyderabad, among others. They were either removed or they stepped down mid-way. So it can happen in RCB as well… I have this feeling after watching yesterday’s match. One more bad game and you can see a change in RCB captaincy right away,” said the former cricketer.
Virat Kohli was appointed the skipper of RCB ahead of the 2013 IPL season as a successor to outgoing captain Daniel Vettori. Since then, the side has unsatisfactory won 62 of the 132 matches under him, to go with 66 losses and 4 no-results, and an IPL trophy has forever eluded him. Appointed ahead of the 2013 season as a successor to spinner Daniel Vettori, Virat Kohli will end up with nine seasons at the helm for RCB.
AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, And Devdutt Padikkal Are Likely Candidates To Replace Virat Kohli As RCB Skipper
Senior player AB de Villiers will probably be the apt candidate to replace Virat Kohli. He is greatly respected within the team. But there are also chances that he might not accept the offer. Yuzvendra Chahal’s name is also doing the rounds on the basis of seniority in the team. Yuzvendra Chahal has also been the leading wicket-taker for RCB in the IPL, clinching 125 wickets in 106 games that he has played for the franchise so far.
Youngster Devdutt Padikkal’s name has been coined as well, following the trend seen in recent times of appointing young captains such as Delhi’s Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, and Rajasthan’s Sanju Samson. The Karnataka batsman Devdutt Padikkal has been among the leading run-scorers for RCB in the last couple of seasons and is considered one of the favourites of Virat Kohli.