Former India star Virender Sehwag has backed Virat Kohli to remain captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore despite yet another IPL heartbreak, disagreeing with his ex-opening partner Gautam Gambhir’s views.
RCB lost the IPL ‘Eliminator’ against Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets on Friday to bow out of the 13th edition of the competition after a poor batting performance.
While it disappointed the RCB fans no end, two-time IPL winning skipper Gambhir led the calls for Kohli’s removal from captaincy. But, Sehwag did not agree with that viewpoint.
“A captain is only as good as his team. When Virat Kohli captains India, he is able to deliver the results. He wins matches? ODIs, T20Is Tests. But when he captains RCB, his team is not able to perform,” Sehwag told ‘Cricbuzz’.
“It is very important for the captain to have a good team. So, I believe the management should not try and think of changing their captain and rather think of how they can improve this team.
“Who all should be added to the team to make sure their performance improves,” Sehwag added.
Kohli scored 466 runs in 15 matches at a strike rate of 121.35 and has often struggled to get going in the middle overs.
The defeat against SRH was RCB’s fifth on the trot after a strong start during which they had won seven out of 10 matches.
Gambhir had said Kohli’s non-performance as RCB captain should lead to his removal from the hot seat.
Known for his straight-talking, the hero of India’s two World Cup title triumphs made it clear that Kohli’s name as a leader shouldn’t be taken alongside the likes of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rohit Sharma, who are IPL’s most successful captains.
Asked if Kohli should be removed from RCB’s captaincy, Gambhir had told ‘ESPNCricinfo’, “100 per cent, because the problem is about accountability. Eight years into the tournament (without a trophy), eight years is a long time.
“Tell me any other captain… forget about captain, tell me any other player who would have got eight years and wouldn’t have won the title and would have still continued with it.
“So it has to be accountability.”
Gambhir led KKR to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014. PTI AH AH