Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) suffered a disappointing six-wicket defeat against SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Friday, ending their hope to clinch maiden IPL title. The Eliminator tie at Abu Dhabi turned out to be a low-scoring affair where the SRH batting unit went past the finishing line with a delivery to spare.
After being put to bat first, RCB managed to post a meagre 131-run total on the scoreboard. Skipper Kohli, after promoting himself up top with Devdutt Padikkal, failed to rise to the occasion. Both Kolhi and Padikkal departed early to make things difficult for the RCB batting unit. AB de Villiers' much-needed half-century and Aaron Finch's 30-ball 32 steadied RCB's sinking ship but 131 was never enough to challenge the Orange Army.
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In response, the SRH batting unit, led by Kane Williamson and Jason Holder, achieved the target on the penultimate delivery to book a place in Qualifier 2 of the tournament. Following RCB's heartbreaking defeat, skipper Kohli was scrutinized by fans as well as experts.
According to many, the RCB skipper failed to deliver when it mattered, leading to the side's woeful record in the last five games. RCB had an upsetting exit to their IPL 2020 campaign as they lost five games on the trot including the crucial tie against SRH.
Reacting to RCB's loss, India great Sunil Gavaskar said that Kohli failed to match the 'high standards' which he sets for himself. Gavaskar also pointed their bowling as the weak link.
“Looking at the high standards that he sets for himself, maybe he would say he didn’t quite match that and that’s one of the reasons why RCB weren’t able to go through. Because when he scores those big runs along with AB de Villiers, they invariably have big scores,” Gavaskar told broadcaster Star Sports.
“If anything, their bowling has always been their weak point. Even now, in this particular team, they have got an Aaron Finch, who is a fine T20 player, young Devdutt Padikkal, who began well and then Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, then you have really got it made,” Gavaskar added.
Kohli had an impressive season with the bat as he scored 466 runs in 15 matches at an average of 42.36. However, it's his inconsistent winning record which has led to a furore on social media.
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir also said that Kohli needs to be 'accountable' for not leading RCB to the title in the past eight years. Several fans even backed AB de Villiers to take charge of the Bangalore franchise. Meanwhile, Gavaskar also asked RCB team management to give a proper role to all-rounder Shivam Dube.
“I think where they need to do a little bit of thinking is to give Shivam Dube a proper role. Dube has gone down and Sundar has gone up and down. If he can be given a role and told to go out there and thrash the ball, it might help him. He is confused now,” Gavaskar added.