A sixth consecutive defeat in the ongoing Indian T20 League has put Team Bengaluru’s status in massive jeopardy. More than that, Virat Kohli’s repute of being a leader is under serious threat.
Despite having some of the finest men of the shortest format over the years, this team carries a record no one would want to be associated with; they are one of the three teams (currently active) who are yet to win the title.
On Sunday (April 7), they hit the rock bottom by equaling Team Delhi’s record (set in 2013) of going six games without a win, and the irony lies in the fact that it was Kohli’s 100th game in charge for Bengaluru, having taken the reigns in 2013. And he is only the third captain after MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir in the history of the tournament to achieve the feat.
That makes us examine; where does he stand amongst the elite?
Since 2013, four different teams have won the coveted Indian T20 League; Mumbai thrice, while Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai once. Bengaluru, on the other hand, have only struggled ever since. In Kohli’s first year in charge, they finished fifth, followed by a ninth-place finish in 2014. 2015 and 2016 did bring up their game a notch or two higher, but they failed to carry on the momentum. For the last two years, they have failed to challenge those sitting on top.
As we speak of Kohli’s orchestration, it has time and again been thrown in the soup. While there are no uncertainties over his batting artistry, his record as a captain – especially in this competition – is something he would like to forget.
While both Dhoni and Gambhir share five Indian T20 League titles amongst each other, their record as a captain is superlative as well. The former, who has played 163 games and has won 97, carries a winning percentage of 59.9%. Gambhir, on the other hand, sits next with 129 games (as captain) under his belt and a winning percentage of 55.4%.
And when Kohli comes in the frame, the graph goes way downward. In his 100 games as captain, his Bengaluru team has won just 44 and carries a winning percentage of 46.4%. Thus, Gambhir was absolutely right when he mentioned Kohli has ‘loads to learn as captain'.
"While Virat Kohli the batsman is an absolute master, Virat Kohli the captain is an apprentice,” he had written in his column in Times of India.
And maybe, just maybe, he was right!