IPL 2018: Unfair to blame Virat Kohli for Royal Challengers Bangalore's poor form, says batting coach Gary Kirsten

Denzil Pinto 18:27 08/05/2018
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Virat Kohli was not happ

Gary Kirsten believes it’s unfair that Virat Kohli has been singled out for Royal Challengers Bangalore’s poor form, insisting every player must take responsibility.

Monday’s five-run loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad all but ended their IPL play-off hopes after seven losses in 10 matches.

RCB fans have taken to social media criticising the captaincy decisions of Kohli and Kirsten believes the Indian skipper sometimes put too much pressure on himself – something that the team have tried to correct.

“I think he takes a lot on himself and puts a lot on his plate which I think is unfair,” Kirsten, RCB’s batting coach, told reporters in Abu Dhabi at the partnership between Gary Kirsten Cricket and Abu Dhabi Cricket on Tuesday.

“It is a team sport and he can’t win every game on his own and it does put pressure on him. IPL is a very intense tournament and there is a lot at stake around winning and losing and the players feel the pressure and I think he also feels it more.

“Maybe with the Indian team there is also a lot of good players around so probably less test to his individual performance. We have tried as hard as anything to try and take the pressure off him and AB de Villiers.”

After a disappointing 2017  campaign which saw them finish bottom with three wins, RCB had a major overhaul with batsmen Kohli, AB de Villiers and Sarfraz Khan retained.

Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, Washington Sundar, Colin Grandhomme, Moeen Ali were all drafted in to boost the batting line-up while the additions of Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav and Moeen Ali gave them an all-round balanced squad on paper.

But despite the new faces, RCB continue to decline and Kirsten believes there are areas that need addressing when the next auction comes around.

“I wasn’t involved in the recruitment of the team,” the South African said, who was roped in this year. “The decisions were made at the beginning of the tournament and everyone said it looks like a very good team. But yes there have been areas where we have struggled no doubt. I don’t know what’s the plan is whether we are going to fill the gaps in the next auction or what, I don’t know. I can just offer my opinion but some else will have to go and make the decision.”

Kirsten has been part of Daniel Vettori’s coaching team since the start of the season and admits the position of the former New Zealand coach could be under threat.

He added: “This season, wee have played 10, won three and lost seven, it is not a great record. It’s been a tough year. It is my first year with RCB and it is quite nice being an assistant coach because I might be the second guy who might fired and not the first one. It been a tough year. We have got great players and every uphill team has have a good team. It is a tough tournament and if you start losing games very quickly you can lose momentum and it becomes very difficult to win a game.”

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