Virat Kohli To Step Down As RCB Skipper After IPL 2021 Concludes

Virat Kohli To Step Down As RCB Skipper After IPL 2021 Concludes

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)

Virat Kohli announced that he will step down as the captain of his IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore 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.

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.

Daniel Vettori, Virat Kohli (BCCI Photo)
Daniel Vettori, Virat Kohli (BCCI Photo)

Virat Kohli To Step Down As RCB Skipper After IPL 2021 Concludes At UAE

So far, the franchise has won 62 out of the 132 matches under him beside 66 losses and 4 no-results. The best season finish under the Indian skipper so far has been a runners-up spot in 2016, a final that RCB lost to SunRisers Hyderabad by 8 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, their home ground. Other than that, the franchise made the playoffs on only two other occasions under Virat Kohli’s leadership: in 2015 and 2020.

Virat Kohli’s eight-year tenure as the RCB skipper wasn’t as fruitful as expected despite having some of the biggest names in the shortest format like AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle. The closest he came to winning the trophy was in 2016, driven by himself with staggering 973 runs, but it eluded him.

“It has been a great and an inspiring journey, captaining a talented bunch of players in the RCB squad,” Kohli said. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the RCB management, coaches, support staff, players, and the entire RCB family, who have been instrumental in the growth of the franchise over the years.”

“It wasn’t an easy decision but one that has been well thought of and in the best interest of this wonderful franchise. The RCB family remains close to my heart as we continue to strive to achieve excellence. As I have mentioned previously in many occasions, I will only play for RCB until my retirement from the game of cricket.”

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

RCB Chairman Prathmesh Mishra said, “Virat Kohli is one of the finest cricketers, and has been a true asset to RCB. His impeccable work ethics and leadership skills has been phenomenal. We respect and support this decision and would like to thank Virat for his incredible contribution to the RCB leadership group. He has left an indelible mark on the franchise and will continue to be a senior member of the team.”

With a mega auction planned ahead of the next edition which will feature 10 teams, RCB will be able to dive into their squad make-up focusing on Virat Kohli as a pure batsman. Virat Kohli, 32, got back to opening for RCB towards the end of last season and it could be a role he looks to fulfil going forward.

Virat Kohli Said Stepping Down As RCB Captain Was Something On His Mind For A While

The announcement of stepping down as RCB skipper comes a few days after Virat Kohli issued a statement to inform that he will step down as India’s T20I captain at the end of the forthcoming T20I World Cup, which will immediately follow the IPL 2021 in UAE and Oman. Virat Kohli though will continue to lead the Indian team in Tests and ODIs.

“Spoke to the management this evening. It was something on my mind for a while. As I recently announced, (I’ll be) stepping down from T20 captaincy as well to manage my workload which has been immense over the last so many years. I want to continue to remain committed to the responsibilities I am fulfilling and I felt I needed this space to refresh, regroup and be absolutely clear in how I want to move forward.”

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Image Credit: Twitter)

“And also understanding that RCB is going to go through a transitional phase with a big auction coming in next year. I made it clear to the management that (smiles) I can’t think of being in any other team than RCB and that’s been my commitment from day one,” Kohli told RCB in his announcement video.

RCB restart this season’s campaign on Monday (September 20) against Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi. Before stepping down, Virat Kohli will be hoping to lead RCB to their maiden IPL title this year. RCB is currently placed third in the league table with 10 points from seven games as they have managed to register five wins before the season was postponed midway through in May due to Covid-19 bio bubble breaches.

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