Gambhir calls for Kohli’s removal from Bangalore captaincy

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Cricket – India Nets – Headingley – 4/9/14 India’s Virat Kohli enjoys some takeaway food during nets Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Lee Smith via Reuters

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir feels Virat Kohli should be replaced as captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore after the team ended yet another Indian Premier League campaign without the trophy.

India captain Kohli has led the Bangalore side for the last eight editions during which they have just made the final once in 2016, when they went down to Sunrisers Hyderabad.

It was the same team, led by Australian David Warner, that eliminated Kohli’s side from this year’s edition in the United Arab Emirates in a low-scoring thriller on Friday.

Asked if Kohli should be removed from RCB’s captaincy, Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo: “100 per cent, because the problem is about accountability. Eight years into the tournament, 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.”

Gambhir, who led the Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014, said Kohli needs to take responsibility for the team’s lack of success and be accountable.

“The problem and the accountability starts from the top, not from the management nor the support staff, but from the leader,” said Gambhir, who was one of the vital cogs in India’s triumph in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in 2007.

“You’re the leader, you’re the captain. When you get the credit, you should take the criticism as well.

“It’s not that Kohli isn’t experienced. He captains India, he captains whichever team he plays for, but you’ve got to give results, you’ve got to deliver. Sport is all about delivering.”

Coach Simon Katich felt the batting department let down the team, who lost their last five matches in the tournament.

“We felt like we were on track at the 10-games mark, and then heading into the last four games … looking back on it now, it feels like we probably ran out of a bit steam,” Australian Katich told reporters.

“Particularly with the bat. That’s probably the one area that faded a bit after a really good start to the tournament.”

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