What’s the story?
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has said that one of the reasons for the mixed performance of the Royal Challengers Bangalore so far in IPL 2017 has been the fact that they have been missing the leadership of Virat Kohli, who has not yet played a game this season, owing to injury.
“It has been a pretty even start for most of the teams except for Royal Challengers Bangalore who have lost a lot of players due to injury. South African AB de Villiers made a comeback on Monday night and made his presence felt straight away but you can see the side is missing the leadership and determination of their captain Virat Kohli,” Ganguly wrote in his column for the Times of India.
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Kohli has been forced to sit out of the initial stages of the IPL because he is yet to recover from the shoulder injury that he sustained during the Ranchi Test against Australia last month. However, in a recent post on Instagram, the right-hander gave strong hints about his availability for the second home game of the franchise against the Mumbai Indians on the 14th of April.
The heart of the matter
In the absence of the talismanic Indian, the 2016 runners-up have been led by Shane Watson and the gulf in leadership have been visible, particularly in the losses against the Sunrisers in the opening game and the Kings Xi Punjab in the third game.
Th RCB have been missing a character like Kohli on the field, who can really uplift the side with his energy and they will hope for him to return for the game against Mumbai on home turf on Friday.
Not just from the leadership point of view, but also with his batting, Kohli will undoubtedly strengthen the RCB if he does play the next game. What though will be interesting to see is can he carry the same kind of form that he showed in the Test season and play with the same authority that he did in the T20 format, as he did in Tests?
Ganguly makes a valid point when he says that the RCB have missed the determination of Kohli. The 28-year-old in his span as Indian captain has displayed a lot of emotions, both on and off the field and it will now be interesting to see whether he can transfer the positive energy to the rest of his teammates and help them turn the fortunes around.