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Indian Premier League 2020

‘Glaring mistakes’ – Chopra on why Kohli is not a successful IPL captain

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Aakash Chopra, the former India opener, has said Virat Kohli has a poor record as an IPL captain due to the “glaring mistakes” in the team.

Kohli has been involved with Royal Challengers Bangalore since the very beginning, but apart from three appearances in the final, the most recent of which came in 2016, Bangalore have largely been an underwhelming force in tournament. The team possesses some of the biggest names in the sport but their routine finishes in the bottom half of the table – they finished bottom of the pile in 2019 – has hurt the image of the side.

Chopra said that was all down to team selection. “He [Kohli] is surely not a successful IPL captain. The team has not done well, it is actually a fact. And it is not one or two years, but many seasons,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

“There are manifold reasons for that. First thing is that they don’t pick the correct team. If you see their squad’s strength, you can observe glaring mistakes. You can punch holes in them.”

Bangalore have traditionally been a top-heavy side, investing in big batsmen – Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Yuvraj Singh, to name a few – and leaving the bowling on the light side. “There are no fast bowlers, who will bowl at the death, who will bat at No.5 and No.6,” Chopra went on.

“They have never addressed these problems. It is a top-heavy batting team, always a thin bowling line-up, the same Yuzi [Yuzvendra] Chahal, just the same fast bowlers, that’s about it. If you don’t pick the team properly, don’t expect miracles from a captain.”

He said that more than Kohli, the blame for that fell on the team’s support staff and management. “Second reason is that when the Indian team captain is the skipper of your franchise, you don’t stretch his bandwidth beyond a point,” he said. “This is with regards to once again the squad selection. The other people need to do a very good job at the time of squad selection.

“I am sure MS Dhoni would have given the CSK [Chennai Super Kings] management a list of 3-4 players to be picked and left the rest to the support staff, when he was the Indian captain. It is almost impossible for you to sit in the auction and spoon feed the management to pick a particular team. You have to support him, I don’t think Kohli has had that kind of support from his support staff.”

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