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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

IPL 2019: Gautam Gambhir hurt by KKR’s plight; calls Virat Kohli ‘lucky’ to be captaining RCB

Gambhir had also been heavily critical of Virat Kohli’s captaincy of Royal Challengers Bangalore, saying he was lucky to stay on as skipper despite poor results.

cricket Updated: May 01, 2019 09:58 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
File image of Gautam Gambhir
File image of Gautam Gambhir(Getty Images)
         

Gautam Gambhir, under whose seven-year captaincy Kolkata Knight Riders won the IPL twice and reached the playoffs three more times, criticised the team on Tuesday for the manner in which it has caved in this season.

Although still in contention for the playoffs, KKR are fifth in the points table. The team was hit by controversy after star player and match-winner Andre Russell questioned the team atmosphere on the eve of Sunday’s win over Mumbai Indians at Eden Gardens.

“It’s (atmosphere) not healthy, to be honest. I’m feeling down at the moment... As cricketers, we have to have the passion inside, and not just to show it on TV,” the Jamaican all-rounder had said on the eve of the game.

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“I find myself just been in my room for the last couple of days, losing games after games. I’m not the type of guy to do the walking around... It’s hard to do the walk around losing six games in a row.”

Legacy

Gambhir, who is contesting from the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency on a BJP ticket and is busy campaigning, said it hurt having invested so much in building team culture.

“It’s unfortunate. We had created a legacy after what KKR had gone through in the first three years. We have worked really hard to create a legacy, create a culture, and for seven years we had given our blood, heart and soul to it. Now suddenly players come out in the open and start talking about the culture. It is not a happy environment, that kind of stuff,” he said.

The former India captain quit cricket early this year after playing a Ranji Trophy game at the Ferozeshah Kotla. After leading KKR from 2011 to 2017, he was appointed Delhi Daredevils skipper last year, but moved aside midway following poor batting form amid the team’s losing streak.

“Hopefully, things will fall in place. I wish KKR all the best, I want them to be the top side. Hopefully, this is just one bad season.”

Gambhir had also been heavily critical of Virat Kohli’s captaincy of Royal Challengers Bangalore, saying he was lucky to stay on as skipper despite poor results.

Asked if his assessment has changed, he said: “I’d talked about his captaincy only at IPL, not India. I’d say again that he has been very fortunate to remain RCB skipper. He is a fabulous player, best in the world, but as captain he is very fortunate. One gets seven years captaining RCB, without winning.”