Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have not won the title in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since 2008. Apart from captain Virat Kohli’s presence in this team, AB de Villiers of South Africa is also there, but despite this, the team never won the title. RCB reached the finals in 2016 but lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad. Now RCB is gearing up for the 13th edition. In the last two seasons, the team could not even reach the playoffs. RCB finished at the bottom end of the table in 2019. Kohli is the captain of the team for the last three seasons, but the conditions have not changed or improved.
According to Gambhir, Kohli’s lack of trust in his playing XI and constant changes to his combination is one of the main reason behind RCB’s struggle each year in the IPL. Gambhir feels that constant changes to the playing XI can lead to inconsistency in the team. RCB finished at the bottom end of the table in the last three seasons.
Former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Gautam Gambhir, stating the reason behind RCB’s struggle each year said, “What Virat Kohli has said when you are happy with your squad as a captain, you would have already planned which playing XI you want to play. If you are satisfied, then the calmness also comes along. Because there are times that you do not come to know your best XI in the entire tournament and that is why you make a lot of changes.”
Gautam Gambhir said on Star Sports’ ‘Cricket Connected’ show, “The biggest difference between Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni is that MS Dhoni persists with his players for 6-7 matches. If you see RCB’s trend, they make changes very quickly because they have a doubt that their playing XI does not have a proper balance.”
“So I would want to see from RCB that even if the start is not good, they should persist with their playing XI and give them 6-7 matches. Because then only the players will give you performances and not if you give one or two matches.
“If they start with Moeen Ali, they should give him 6-7 matches. If he doesn’t perform in the beginning, they should not get in another player. So if Virat Kohli has a calmness in his mind that this is the most balanced squad, the important thing will be how they perform and how much he persists with these players.”
Gambhir’s comments come after Virat Kohli said that his team is the “most balanced” since the 2016 campaign wherein the side reached the final before losing to SRH.
Gambhir’s Advice for RCB
Observing the RCB’s squad for this year, the cricketer-turned-politician stated that the team looks a little batting-heavy but their bowlers can put up a good show as they will not be playing on the ‘flattest wicket and India’s smallest’ M Chinnaswamy Stadium anymore.
“I still feel that RCB look a little batting-heavy. But one thing that you will see a little different is that the bowlers will be happy because they will not have to play 7 matches at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
“You will be playing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi which probably have bigger grounds, wickets are not as flat as Chinnaswamy. It is always difficult to judge the bowlers from Chinnaswamy’s point of view. India’s smallest ground and the flattest wicket is in Chinnaswamy, so bowlers will be happier and you might see a better performance from bowlers like Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini.”
The first match of the tournament will be played between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. Due to the coronavirus epidemic this year the tournament is being played in the UAE and the final match will be played on November 10.