Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) IPL 2021 campaign came to an end as they suffered a four-wicket defeat in the Eliminator match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Sharjah on Monday (October 11).
Opting to bat first, RCB posted a below-par 138/7 in their allotted 20 overs, which KKR chased down with two balls to spare.
After the game, former India opener Gautam Gambhir criticised the RCB batters, including skipper Virat Kohli and his manner of dismissal.
Kohli gave RCB a brisk start as he added 49 runs for the opening wicket with Devdutt Padikkal in just five overs. However, the RCB captain failed to keep the pace of his innings and was cleaned up by Sunil Narine for 33-ball 39.
"Just poor batting. Poor shot selection as well... Someone who was in should have batted till the 16th over. It started with Virat that he got out at the wrong time playing a shocking shot. And then Glenn Maxwell again, when two balls were left in Sunil Narine's spell, why would you play that shot? He could have targeted Shivam Mavi," Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo.
"They should have looked to get 150-155... You need to have a better game plan on who do you want to target and when and what is the situation as well. Virat had to bat till the 16th over and had he got that 60-70, the have could have reached that total."
Former India cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar also echoed Gambhir’s viewpoint, stating that Kohli should've taken the onus on himself to maintain the run-rate instead of leaving the job to youngster Srikar Bharat.
"The only point I want to make here is that... there was that partnership where we could see Bharat was struggling today. It wasn't his day... but Virat was happy to still give him the single. You know, he was batting at 30 so I think he could have taken the onus on himself being the senior player and more qualified to handle quality spin but he kept taking the single and leaving on Bharat to expedite the runrate. And it was on the cards, I could see that wicket falling because young Bharat was feeling the pressure of getting that runrate up," opined Manjrekar.
With this defeat, Virat Kohli's stint as RCB captain came to an end. Before the UAE-leg of IPL 2021, Kohli had announced that he will step down as RCB’s action after this season. Overall, he led the Bangalore-based franchise for almost a decade, finishing with 66 wins and 70 defeats in 140 games.