5 Reasons why Virat Kohli should step down as skipper of RCB

Vedant Yadav Updated: 8 November, 2020, 10:07 AM IST

It's been the same old story for Royal Challengers Bangalore and their faithful's. Despite overhauling their squad during the IPL 2020 auction to try and rectify past mistakes, their campaign came to a bitter end with the loss against SunRisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator.

However, midway through the season, RCB were looking like a team which can finally end their trophy drought but a string of losses have seen them crashing out of the cash-lucrative league.

After yet another dismal show, maybe it is time for RCB to either take the armband away from Kohli and hand it over to someone else ahead of the next season of IPL. He's been at the helm for more than 8 years but he hasn't been able to inspire his team to a triumph.

Here are 5 reasons why Kohli should step down as RCB captain and let someone else lead the side next season:

1. Dismal Performances

RCB, over the past few seasons, has possessed one of the strongest squads on paper. However, they have not translated that into results on the field and the captain has to take responsibility. Though Virat's the leading run-scorer in the tournament, he's not been able to inspire his troops, especially in playoff stages.

After all, a team containing the likes of AB de Villiers, Aaron Finch, Chris Morris, etc cannot be in the bottom half of the table. RCB is one of only a handful of teams to have never lifted the elusive trophy yet and maybe a fresh face in charge could give them that extra boost in the seasons to come.

2. Other captaincy options available

RCB have no shortage of captaincy candidates in their ranks. The likes of AB de Villiers and Australia limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch have led their respective nations with some success and there is no reason why they can't replicate that in the IPL as well.

If RCB are looking for Indian options instead, Yuzvendra Chahal can step up as he's been in the team for a while and is already a leader in the bowling department as well as the dressing room.

3. Not focusing on key issues

RCB's bowling woes were evident right from the start of the season. They relied on Yuzvendra Chahal to carry most of the load while the other bowlers in the ranks, including Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Chris Morris, etc simply did not offer enough.

Moreover, Virat's poor tactical astuteness like field placement, playing XI, and bowling changes have left a lot to be desired. In a couple of matches, medium-pacer Shivam Dube was made to bowl at the death and he got absolutely smashed.

Also, the batting line-up has also been rotated quite often. RCB have tried different option at the top, with Finch, Josh Philippe, and Kohli partnering young opener Devdutt Padikkal, who's been a revelation this season.

4. New leadership, New mindset

We've seen how, over the years, the appointment of a new coach or skipper has breathed new life into a lack-lustrous unit. Mumbai Indians is a fine example of that. Having been captained by the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Shaun Pollock, and Ricky Ponting, the record champions failed to win a trophy in the first 5 seasons of the tournament.

However, Rohit Sharma's appointment in 2013 experienced a change in momentum. In fact, in the past 7 seasons, MI has won 4 titles under the Hitman's leadership. Similarly, Kohli has never led his franchise to the title and a new face might be able to do that.

5. Should focus on his batting

Kohli had a decent season with the bat - he was RCB's top scorer, averaging just over 42. however, he looked burdened by the pressure of leading the team at times. In the Eliminator against SRH, Virat took a bold decision to open the batting but his stay on the pitch only lasted for a few minutes.

He's failed to take his team to the finishing line in a couple of run-chases and also failed in their two biggest games of the season -- Mumbai and Delhi. Playing under the captaincy of someone like Finch or de Villiers might not be a bad idea as it will take the pressure off him, as a captain.

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Ruturaj Gaikwad reacts to MS Dhoni's 'no spark in youngsters' comment during IPL 2020

Vedant Yadav Updated: 24 November, 2020, 4:52 PM IST

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni had to face the heat from fans and the cricketing fraternity after his 'no spark' comment for the youngsters in the side during the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.

Dhoni's comments came after CSK lost their 7th game of the season against Rajasthan Royals (RR). CSK experienced an abysmal campaign in IPL 2020 as they failed to make it to the playoffs for the first time in the tournament's history. The franchise finished at the seventh spot on the points table after managing only 12 points from 14 games.

While the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman disappointed throughout the season, youngsters weren't given many chances, initially. However, towards the backend of the season, young batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad impressed with his willow.

After managing just 5 runs from his first three innings, Ruturaj went on to notch up three back-to-back half-centuries to finish the season with 204 runs from six games and cement his spot in the side as an opener for IPL 2021.

Recently, Gaikwad was questioned about Dhoni's 'no spark' comments for the youngsters in the CSK side. Interestingly, he was dismissed for a duck in the game against RR. However, the youngster said he never read too much into his captain's comment and it never got into his head, as many had speculated.

“I didn’t read much into what MS (Dhoni) had said and I never felt he intended that way. He must have thought of something and said, but people took it the other way."

"What he said didn’t matter to me or didn’t even get to my head. At nets, he would advise me regarding my batting and on top of that, he has always liked my batting," he told the Telegraph.

Gaikwad also revealed that Dhoni has always liked his batting and would keep advising him in the nets to not worry too much about the results and get the process right.

“At nets, MS used to tell me, ‘just make sure your process is right and don’t worry about the results.’ I just followed that,” he added.

Netizens react as Shikhar Dhawan gives a sneak-peek into new 'retro' jersey for Australia series

Vedant Yadav Updated: 24 November, 2020, 4:24 PM IST

Team India has always sported jerseys which have become a huge hit among their ardent fans and followers. Among them, the jersey sported by players during 1992 has a great recall value among fans even in the modern era.

Earlier, it was reported that Team India is set to turn the clock back and go retro against Australia, by wearing a jersey similar to the one sported during the 1992 WC. Ahead of the three-match ODI series Down Under, veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan gave a sneak-peek of the jersey.

Dhawan on Tuesday took to Twitter and posted a photo and captioned it: "New jersey, renewed motivation. Ready to go."

After Dhawan gave a sneak-peek of the jersey, a plethora of Twitter users flooded the micro-blogging site with mixed reactions. Here are some of the reactions:

Earlier, the BCCI had announced Mobile Premier League (MPL) Sports as the team's official apparel sponsor after the deal with Nike ended earlier this year.

MS Dhoni's mentor Deobrat 'Deval' Sahay passes away in Ranchi after prolonged illness

Vedant Yadav Updated: 24 November, 2020, 3:18 PM IST

Deval Sahay, mentor of former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, passed away due to multi-organ failure in the early hours of Tuesday in a hospital in the Jharkhand capital. He was 73 and is survived by his wife, a daughter, and a son.

Sahay, who is also credited with preparing the first turf pitches in Ranchi, was admitted to a hospital due to breathing problems and was laid low by a coronavirus. He was discharged from the hospital on October 9.

"After spending about 10 days at home, he was again admitted to a hospital when he developed complications. And today at around 3 a.m. he passed away," Sahay's son Abhinav Akash was quoted as saying by IANS.

Sahay's funeral will take place at around 1 pm in Ranchi. His daughter Meenakshi, who lives in the USA, is in Ranchi these days.

Sahay, an electrical engineer, was instrumental in preparing first turf pitches in Ranchi, first at MECON, where he was the Chief Engineer, and then at Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), from where he retired as Director (Personnel). MS Dhoni's father, Pan Singh Dhoni, also worked at MECON.

While Sahay was at CCL, hired a young Dhoni on stipend and provided him the first opportunity to play on turf pitches. His role has been portrayed by actor Kumud Mishra in Dhoni's biopic, 'M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story'.

Sachin Tendulkar comes up with a piece of advice for Indian pacers to tackle Steve Smith

Vedant Yadav Updated: 24 November, 2020, 2:39 PM IST

Former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar has urged the Indian bowlers to target "fifth stump" against Steve Smith as his unconventional batting style will warrant a slightly wider line. He had missed the last India-Australia series Down Under due to a ball-tampering ban and will be eager to make his presence felt.

Smith has always performed against India and has six hundreds and a 92, a statistic that cannot be taken lightly.

"(Steve) Smith's technique is unconventional...Normally, we tell a bowler in Test matches to bowl on and around off-stump or maybe fourth stump line. But for Smith, because he shuffles a lot, maybe that line (of delivery) moves further away by four to five inches," Tendulkar was quoted as saying by PTI.

"One has to aim between (imaginary) fourth and fifth stump for Steve to nick one. It's just a mental adjustment of line, more than anything else," the former captain said.

"Smith, I read, said he's ready for the short-pitched stuff...probably he is expecting bowlers to be aggressive up front with him. But I think he needs to be tested on and around that off-stump channel. Keep him on the back-foot and induce that early mistake," he added.

One being asked whether the in-swinging yorkers won't do the trick against Smith, Tendulkar said that depends on whether the ball swings much or not.

"For that to happen, you have to see how much the ball is swinging. All those things matter. You can't use saliva, so it's a different case if wickets have a lot more life. In England during the Test matches, on occasions, the Dukes wouldn't be swinging much," he replied

"I don't know if they will have greenish wickets for the ball to do a little bit. If the ball doesn't swing. That swinging yorker, you might not even see."

Sachin, while praising India's potent bowling line-up, advised the management to look for a defensive bowler.

"As I have always said, we have one of the best and most balanced bowling attacks India has ever had. Eventually, you have to pick 20 wickets to win Test matches. But 20 wickets shouldn't be too expensive either," he further added.

"...along with our attacking bowlers, we should also identify bowlers who can hold one end up on unresponsive pitches, bowl those continuous maiden overs to build the pressure."

Ravi Shastri backs pacers to overcome Day/Night Test Inexperience

Vedant Yadav Updated: 24 November, 2020, 1:52 PM IST

Team India head coach Ravi Shastri acknowledged his team lack Australia’s Day/Night experience but is convinced their “fabulous five” pacemen can overcome the experienced 'Baggy Greens', on their way towards a second-successive Test series triumph Down Under.

Tim Paine-led side have played seven pink-ball tests, the most by any country, since 2015 and won each of them. Virat Kohli's side, on the other hand, was late to embrace the innovation and played their only Test under the lights, against Bangladesh in Kolkata, last year.

“We begin with pink-ball cricket where we lack experience,” Ravi Shastri told the Sportstar magazine.

“We have played just one pink-ball test, but there is a qualitative difference between them (Bangladesh) and Australia. It is like cheese and chalk. Our boys have not played much of pink-ball in domestic cricket, but I just want them to go and enjoy their game.”

A mouth-watering four-match Test series between the top two teams in the ICC Test Championship standings starts will get underway at the Adelaide Oval, under the lights, from December 17.

India's all-format captain Virat Kohli will return home after the pink-ball Test as he's about to experience parenthood for the first time. He will miss the final three Tests, including the traditional Boxing-Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

ALSO READ: "It still annoys and grinds me a bit": Tim Paine on India's Test win Down Under

With Virat set to return, and Rohit Sharma still not cleared to feature in the purest format, Shastri has backed India's “fabulous five” pacemen to get the job down. The former all-rounder also added that the players will play fearless cricket as there's no pressure on the team.

“We have a fabulous five ... You put up runs on the board and watch these fast bowlers hunt the opposition. They can beat Australia in their own backyard,” he explained.

“Ask any international player and he will tell you that it is different. It is challenging. Toughest used to be the West Indies in the ‘80s and post that it has been Australia,” he concluded