IPL 2021: “Timing of the decision surprises me,” Gambhir reacts to Kohli quitting RCB captaincy

Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir found the timing of Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain wrong. Kohli on Sunday (September 19) announced that he will not continue as RCB skipper from the next IPL season.

However, the 32-year-old mentioned that he will play for RCB till his last match in the IPL. “This will be my last IPL as captain of RCB. I’ll continue to be an RCB player till I play my last IPL game. I thank all the RCB fans for believing in me and supporting me,” he said.

The announcement came as a surprise for Gambhir who feels Kohli should have announced it after the tournament. “Yes, it does (the timing of the decision surprises me). Just before the 2nd leg of the tournament. If you want to do that, you probably do it after the tournament. 

“Because it makes the team unsettled and emotional as well. It makes the people probably push even harder. You would not want to do that, especially the kind of situation RCB is in,” he said on Star Sports.

Gambhir added that RCB are doing well in comparison to their previous few seasons and the announcement could add extra pressure on the players to win it for Kohli.

“They (RCB) are in a very good position. Why would you want to put that extra pressure, probably push your players to probably do it for Virat. You don’t want to win it for individuals, you want to win it for the franchise. If he had to do it, he could have done it after the tournament as well,” he said.

Bangalore, after the first phase of the IPL 2021, won five out of seven matches and they are currently at the number 3 spot on the points table.

Gambhir respects Kohli’s decision despite the wrong timing. He said that such calls are completely personal and can’t be forced on anyone.

“Stepping down and retirement are two decisions which are very individual. No one should force it on anyone. 

“Probably, you have to feel it from inside. He has taken a brave decision but it’s going to be an emotional moment. It’s never going to be easy. Probably, the players and the franchise don’t get emotional and continue to play the way they were playing in this season,” he further said.