While Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has already announced that he will step down as the captain of the side after the completion of IPL 2021, there are reports suggesting that he could even be axed from the role midway through the ongoing UAE leg of the competition.
The reason behind such a potential move is being cited as Kohli's surrender to the Kolkata Knight Riders in their opening match of the second phase of the competition in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Notably, Bangalore had a horror resumption of their campaign as they were bowled out for just 92, Bangalore's sixth-lowest total in IPL. The Eoin Morgan-led side then cruised to a win by nine wickets.
What's worse for Kohli is that he had himself opted to bat first but his batters never looked in control of the match. While captain Kohli departed for 5 runs in the second over, none of the experienced or young batters looked like they were going to bail the team out of trouble.
Even Kohli's body language on the field wasn't just the same and perhaps he was still processing the decision he had made to step down as the leader.
Captains have had to leave midway earlier also: Former cricketer
"Look at the way he was playing against Kolkata Knight Riders. Just clueless! It seems he is struggling big time right now. There are chances that he could be removed mid-way through the season. It has happened earlier also with other teams — like with Dinesh Karthik in KKR and David Warner in Sunrisers Hyderabad, among others. They were either removed or they stepped down mid-way. So it can happen in RCB as well… I have this feeling after watching yesterday’s match. One more bad game and you can see a change in RCB captaincy right away," a former cricketer was quoted as saying in IANS report on the condition of anonymity.
Although senior cricketer AB de Villiers is one of the names that is doing the rounds as a potential replacement for Kohli at the helm, there are chances that he might not accept the offer at this stage of his career. Moreover, as Kohli himself pointed out that it is going to be a transitional phase for the team with the mega auctions next year, the team might also look at investing in a young captain like Devdutt Padikkal. However, there is no clarity provided by the franchise as yet.