'If he wanted to, he could have done it after the tournament': Gambhir on Kohli's decision to step down as RCB captain
- Virat Kohli on Sunday announced that he has decided to step down as captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore at the completion of the IPL 2021, but former India batsman Gautam Gambhir has questioned the timing of the decision.
Virat Kohli on Sunday announced that he has decided to step down as captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore at the completion of the IPL 2021, but former India batsman Gautam Gambhir has questioned the timing of the decision, believing it could have an adverse effect on the team.
RCB are placed third on the points table and play their first game of the UAE leg on Monday against KKR, and Gambhir reckons the announcement in the middle of the tournament may not have been a smart move on Kohli's part.
"Yes, it does (the timing of the decision surprises me). Just before the 2nd leg of the tournament. If you want to do that, you probably do it after the tournament. Because it makes the team unsettled and emotional as well. It makes the people probably push even harder. You would not want to do that, especially the kind of situation RCB is in," Gambhir said on the Star Sports at the end of the Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super King match on Sunday.
"They are in a very good position. Why would you want to put that extra pressure, probably push your players to probably do it for Virat. You don't want to win it for individuals, you want to win it for the franchise. If he wanted to do it, he could have done it after the tournament as well."
Kohli has been captain of the RCB since 2011 and under him, the franchise’s best performance came in IPL 2016, when the team reached the final. In that season, Kohli had led from the front amassing a colossal 973 runs, which is the most by any batsman in a single edition of the IPL. Gambhir feels regardless of how RCB have fared under Kohli, it will be an emotional moment for the 32-year-old when he finally steps down.
"Stepping down and retirement are two decisions which are very individual. No one should force it on anyone. Probably, you have to feel it from inside. He has taken a brave decision but it's going to be an emotional moment. It's never going to be easy. Probably, the players and the franchise don't get emotional and continue to play the way they were playing in this season," added Gambhir.