Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli has confirmed that he will step down as the franchise captain at the end of this IPL season. Kohli, who has gone on to become the face of RCB in the IPL, confirmed that he will stay with RCB till the end of his IPL career as a player. Announcing his decision, Kohli said that, “It has been a great and an inspiring journey, captaining a talented bunch of players in the RCB squad. It wasn’t an easy decision but one that has been well thought of and in the best interest of this wonderful franchise.”
Interestingly, the move came just a few days after Kohli announced that he would step down as India’s T20I captain after this year’s World Cup. With the RCB legend moving away, here are 5 possible replacements, who can take over the leadership role.
1. David Warner
Aussie veteran David Warner hasn’t had a great season with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) so far. Even if he does well, it doesn’t look like SRH will retain him ahead of the mega auction. But RCB could try for his services and appoint him as a leader. Although he is 34, he is still playing international cricket, and has enjoyed a fabulous run as SRH skipper before being sacked this year. He has inspired the Hyderabad franchise to some memorable wins and was their standout batter even when SRH won the trophy in 2016. Also, Warner is the most prolific overseas batter in IPL history.
2. Yuzvendra Chahal
Ever since Yuzvendra Chahal joined the RCB franchise, he has become an indispensable part of the team. He has been their lead spinner for years and, after Kohli, if there is someone who understands the dynamics of the team best, it must be Chahal. Of course, RCB have AB de Villiers as well but one isn’t sure how long he can carry only playing, so that could be a stop-gap arrangement of sorts. Chahal still has a few years of cricket left in him and is known as a smart cricketer. His wily mind might make him a good candidate for the captaincy.
3. Devdutt Padikkal
If RCB are looking for a fresh face to take over the reins, Devdutt Padikkal could be an interesting choice. Yes, he is very young (21) and this is only his second season with RCB. Having said that, being inexperienced doesn’t mean that one cannot become a great captain. South African legend Graeme Smith is one of the finest examples. He took over the role from a much more experienced Shaun Pollock when he was in his early 20s and transformed the team into world-beaters. It would be unfair to draw comparisons. But the fact is, if RCB are looking to groom someone in the leadership role, Padikkal is a good choice.
4. Suryakumar Yadav
With the mega auction coming up, Mumbai Indians (MI), like all franchises, will be forced to release most of their players. MI will have the toughest task of retaining a few members because almost all of them have been part of the team over the last few years. As such, they might be forced to put Suryakumar Yadav back in the auction pool. RCB could look at him as a possible captaincy candidate. He is at a mature age, is playing his best cricket and his confidence is at an all-time high as well. There couldn’t be a better time for Yadav to take over the captaincy.
5. Shreyas Iyer
He could be the dark horse. Shreyas Iyer was the one who put Delhi Capitals (DC) back on track with his assured leadership. He even led them to the finals last season. As a captain, Iyer seemed astute and composed. However, an injury meant he had to miss the first half of IPL 2021 and wasn’t retained as captain for the second. With quite a few options available as far as retaining players are concerned, DC might actually let go of Iyer. Who knows, DC’s loss could be RCB’s gain!