Virat Kohli has chuckled at the suggestion that not winning the IPL is a frustration for him, and said it doesn’t matter to him if his legacy is judged based on that.
Kohli has been with Royal Challengers Bangalore since the team’s inception and their designated captain since 2013. Royal Challengers are among the three active teams – Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab are the other two – who have never won the title, although they have been runners-up on three occasions. Under Kohli, they were in the play-offs in 2015 and runners-up in 2016. However, they have finished eighth and sixth in the last two years.
This middling record prompted Gautam Gambhir to say earlier this week that Kohli was ‘very lucky’ that Royal Challengers had retained him as captain for so long, and that he had a long way to go before being spoken about in the same bracket as multiple-IPL-winning captains like Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni.
“Obviously, you want to win the IPL,” Kohli said on the eve of the IPL season-opener in Chennai. “I am doing what I am supposed to do. I don’t care whether I am going to be judged on this [not winning IPL] or not. There is no real, sort of, parameters you set. I try to perform wherever I can. I try to win all the possible titles, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. We have to be practical about why we haven’t won one. That boils down to bad decision-making in pressure situations.
“If I think like people from outside, I can’t even sustain five games. I would be sitting at home. I know people talk about it a lot and they like to grab opportunities to talk about these things. But I have a responsibility here and given a chance, as a captain, I would love to win the IPL for my team. We all are motivated to do so.”
Kohli reiterated the point he made last week that decision-making in pressure situations had cost Royal Challengers in big matches, adding that he sees enough proof that his team are contenders this year.
“It [winning the title] has not happened and that’s the reality,” he said. “No excuses for that. Only acceptance of the faults that we made in the past. The fact that we played six [five] semi-finals means that we have been a side who are always in contention. If we make better decisions, we can go further than that. That’s how I see things.” (ESPNCricinfo)