At first glance, this is an IPL Eliminator, between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah. But from the captain RCB Virat KoliFrom a perspective, this game probably presents the bigger picture.
Kohli will step down as IPL captain at the end of this year’s tournament, and Monday’s game could well be his last as captain of the Bangalore franchise after nine years in charge. The decision, announced in the middle of the tournament, somewhat eases the pressure on the captain Kohli, as it deprives the participants of the debate of the right to demand his removal if he fails to win the title again. However, next season with no trophies, critics will sharpen their knives pointing to an empty cabinet.
Last year, after RCB lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in Eliminator, former India batsman and two-time title-winning KKR captain. Gautam Gambhir raised the issue of responsibility. Another exit from Eliminator and the RCB captain may face more difficult issues despite his decision to leave the captaincy.
The T20 World Cup is approaching, which is also Kohli’s last appointment as captain of the Indian T20. Obviously, he would not like to bring any negative emotions into such an important tournament. As a batsman, he hasn’t played in a single match for quite some time, even in white ball cricket.
Kohli has completed 366 runs in 14 games this IPL, including three half centuries. However, by its high standards, this is a bit unimpressive. He hasn’t scored any limited overs in almost two years. Add to that the last problem where he fell headlong and went over the line of the ball as he played across the line on the side of his foot. I get out of my leg before Bhuvneshwar Kumar So just a few days ago, it’s still fresh in the minds of fans.
Certain technical problems can creep in when a cricketer plays for an extended period and Kohli, the leading batsman, doesn’t need the help of a coach to sort it out. Such issues are resolved in the offseason, which currently practically does not exist. The second round of the IPL in the UAE followed a series of tests in England and there is almost no gap between the T20 league and the T20 world championship. India has not won an ICC trophy since 2013, and to fight the drought, Kohli needs to be in top shape in the show competition.
Rohit Sharma The lack of a good IPL increases Kohli’s responsibility in the T20 World Cup. Both are major tournament players and the global competition will take place at varying intensities. However, major attempts, especially against the excellent KKR bowling attack, in the business part of the IPL would be a major confidence boost for Kohli.
The fact that India’s first T20 World Cup match against Pakistan makes the situation all the more interesting. Forget about the chasm between the two teams, the excitement has already begun on the other side of the border. “A strong investor told me that a blank check is ready for the PCB if Pakistan defeats India in the upcoming T20 World Cup,” Pakistan Cricket Council Chairman Ramiz Raja recently told his country’s Senate Standing Committee.
Kohli talks a lot about “free space” and it would be important to get it right before the opening of the T20 World Cup in India. As for Eliminator, his immediate goal may be a more rewarding Powerplay bowling alley.
RCB’s average Powerplay savings this season is 8.38, with 11 wickets in the first six overs compared to KKR’s 17. Kohli held back at times. Yuzvendra Chahal against lefties. It would be interesting to see if he uses the foot-spinner at the start of Eliminator against the well-formed left-hander starting batsman Venkatesh Iyer.
Despite not very good Powerplay stats, RCB’s bowling performance in the middle of the over and at the time of death was excellent. But the KKR’s heavy artillery – perhaps André Russell’s will do – may not give their opponents a chance to rally.