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IPL 2019: A test of Virat Kohli's captaincy ahead of 'mega-summer'

Virat Kohli has been the best player in the world with the bat but his captaincy has been on the opposite side of the spectrum and with the World Cup in sight, IPL 2019 will be a major chance for the India and RCB captain to prove his doubters wrong.

Ranit Das Written by: Ranit Das @ranitd94 New Delhi Published on: March 19, 2019 8:41 IST
IPL 2019

With the World Cup in sight for India, this year is surely the year Kohli would like his fortunes to change.

Virat Kohli is the best batsman in the world and the leader of arguably the best team currently in international cricket but one tag that has eluded him till date is a "good captain" and 2019 is perhaps the year he would like to change it.

With the World Cup in sight for India, this year is surely the year Kohli would like his fortunes to change.

The case against the Delhi dasher has been that he is someone, who is defensive and stays away from attacking at the right moment and with the 50-over World Cup around the corner, Kohli would want to prove a point to the doubters after conquering Australia and New Zealand in their own backyard.

Following that, the 30-year-old was riding high on confidence but he was soon brought back on his feet by Australia as India lost the last three ODIs to surrender the five-match series 2-3 to a spirited visiting side.

Interestingly, in the matches India won, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was there behind the stumps and as he rested, the troops fell apart. There is an increasing belief that Dhoni makes Kohli tick and without him, India would fall flat at the World Cup, thus, Dhoni's decision to play till the summer in England and Kohli backing him through thick and thin.

This is a perception Kohli would like to change.

With Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kohli has played 11 seasons so far and captained them in six. RCB's best runs have come in 2009 and 2016 -- where they have reached the final but collapsed at the final hurdle. In 2009 it was under Anil Kumble and in 2016, Kohli's dream run with the bat took the Bengaluru franchise to the finals before losing to Sunrisers Hyderabad.

With RCB, Kohli has a special bond and while he has delivered with the bat almost every time over the last five years, his team selection and habit of losing the plot has cost him each time in the IPL.

"To me, it (playing for RCB) has been a most special experience. I don't see myself leaving or playing for any other franchise," Kohli said while speaking to reporters during the launch of RCB's new app in Bengaluru.

"The (RCB's) failure lies where decisions aren't made properly. If I sit here and say our luck was bad, that won't be right. You make your own luck, and if you make poor decisions and the other team makes good ones, you will lose," the RCB skipper added.

"When we played big matches too, our decision-making wasn't right. When your decision-making is spot on and balanced, those teams win the IPL. The teams that are more relaxed, don't take the pressure too much, and take good decisions in pressure moments - they should get the credit for winning," Kohli said.

In 2019, after the highs of Down Under and in the form of his life, Kohli is rejuvenated and a man with a mission. Giving RCB their maiden trophy is an objective and that will cement his legacy along with the likes of Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir, who have all been stalwarts in the cash-rich tournament in terms of captaincy. But, the mission remains the World Cup in England and a trophy in May will give the best in the world the necessary confidence going into the mega-event.

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