A cricketer might take retirement from cricket but keeping away from everything related to cricket seems like a different task. Former cricketers take it to be their duty to pass comments upon the current players, their techniques and the decisions they make on or off the field. While sometimes these comments or “advice” are useful, many times these just end up hurting few feelings or giving way to controversies. One such former cricketer who had been giving a lot of free advice lately is Gautam Gambhir. Now Gambhir is a cricketer who has the experience of international matches and also IPL. In fact, he led his team to the winning trophy in IPL, not once but twice. But this success gives him the right to raise questions on someone else’s efficiency as a captain? Is it right for such a respected cricketer to pass on comments without being considerate of his own former team members and their reputation? Or this is only healthy criticism which the players should be ready to take to improve their game?
WHAT DID GAMBHIR SAY ABOUT KOHLI?
Indian skipper and the captain one of the most bankable IPL teams, Royal Challengers Bangalore, was recently questioned about his awareness about the potential of his team which in turn raised another question, ‘Is Kohli an efficient captain for RCB?’ Kohli is considered to be one of the most successful captains of the Indian team and cricket pundits predict more success to him in future. His track record provides a strong base for this prediction. Under Kohli’s lead, India got its first-ever win against Australia in Test series, in the year 2018-19. His record hardly shown any dip across all the formats of cricket. But IPL seems to be a roadblock on the otherwise smooth highway of Kohli’s career. Kohli had not been able to take the team to the trophy, even once, despite being blessed with world-class players. The team starts with promising performances and continues the same road but somehow misses the mark.
Gambhir has touched upon this sore nerve of Kohli. He did not shy away from pointing out that Kohli has been the captain of the team for almost 4 years now. Since 2016, Kohli has been leading the team and if he had not seen any balance or found the balance lacking, he “should have got more involved”. Now that was a little ruthless, wasn’t it? To point out that the captain of the team hasn’t been enough involved in improving the performance of the team seems a bit harsh on the former cricketer’s part. He could have gone the other way round and given a piece of friendly advice or constructive criticism but he chose to say that Royal Challengers Bangalore have been losing the IPL title because of the lack of “involvement” on their captain’s part.
DOES RCB HAVE A CHANCE THIS SEASON?
Gambhir’s harsh statement makes it difficult for RCB fans to expect any praises for the team or the captain from the former cricketer but he did show a flicker of hope for the team. Looking at the comment he made on Virat’s captaincy, no one could hope for a softer tone. Gambhir, in his own signature style, told that this season might be a little different for RCB as the pitches in UAE might favour bowlers. He calls RCB a “batting-heavy” team but the pitches will bring a surprise element for the audience and RCB fans as bowlers will enjoy bowling in UAE pitches. Gambhir did not forget to compare the foreign pitches this IPL will be played on the Chinnaswamy Stadium pitches and highlighted that pitches are not going to be as flat as the pitches they have played on. Chinnaswamy has the smallest grounds and flattest wickets
The player also mentioned that it is not fair to judge the cricketer on the experience based on Chinnaswamy matches. Gambhir is expecting “better performance” from the bowlers like Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini. Now “better performance” seems like a hopeful phrase but doesn’t it indicate towards a substandard game in the previous matches? Gambhir stated, “you might see a better performance from bowlers like Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini.” What about the other players? Does Gambhir expect them to underperform or he never had any trust on the other bowlers of RCB?
Though it is not all. Gambhir had few words of praise for the team or we can say for a few selected players of the team. He especially mentioned Chris Morris and had some choicest words for the player. He said that Chris is player who might be able to bring some improvement to RCB’s condition as Morris is capable of bringing depth to RCB not only in one field but in both, batting as well as bowling. He called Chris Morris a “quality all-rounder” even though Chris has not played much cricket. He said that Morris is the kind of player who, “can be a finisher a batsman and can also give you 4 overs and bowl at the death.” Now that is some serious appreciation coming from a player who raised questions on Virat’s captaincy.
But there is something that again raises questions on the former cricketer’s intent. Gambhir said, “Chris Morris provides balance to the RCB squad.” Something that he ahs accused Kohli for, he was able to find in Morris, who hasn’t even “played much cricket”. What road Gambhir wanted to take here and where it will lead to, only the future will tell.