Gautam Gambhir was surprised that Virat Kohli announced his decision to step away from Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captaincy at the end of IPL 2021, just before the start of the second phase in UAE. The second phase of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has begun in UAE after the first phase in India was suspended due to Covid-19 pandemic. On the eve of RCB’s first match of the leg, Kohli announced that he will not be RCB’s captain after the edition gets over.
Kohli said he wanted to clear of the decision before the auction in 2022. However, he said he would remain with the franchise till he retires from T20. The announcement from Kohli came a week after he announced that he would be stepping down as India’s T20I captain after the upcoming T20 World Cup.
The former Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gambhir felt that the timing of the announcement can make the team “unsettled and emotional".
“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," Gambhir told Star Sports on Sunday.
“It makes the people probably push even harder. You would not want to do that, especially the kind of situation RCB is in," he said.
RCB currently have five wins from seven matches and are in the third spot in the table. They need just a couple of more wins to make the playoffs.
“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 had to do it, he could have done it after the tournament as well."
Under Kohli, who became RCB’s skipper in 2013, RCB have not won the IPL. Their best result for the runner-up finish in 2016 but after that they could not even make the playoffs for the next three editions.
“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," Gambhir expressed.