Virat Kohli will no longer captain RCB post the current IPL season. It comes after Kohli has announced he won’t captain India in T20Is post the World T20 to reduce his workload. Since a mega IPL auction is scheduled ahead of next season, a large pool of players will be available for RCB to select its next skipper. So, whom should RCB target as captain for the next IPL season?
Virat Kohli to step down from RCB captaincy after #IPL2021— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) September 19, 2021
“This will be my last IPL as captain of RCB. I’ll continue to be an RCB player till I play my last IPL game. I thank all the RCB fans for believing in me and supporting me.”: Virat Kohli#PlayBold #WeAreChallengers pic.twitter.com/QSIdCT8QQM
Among the current pool of players in the RCB squad
AB de Villiers
ABD is an option if RCB does not find a good suitable replacement for Virat Kohli in the 2022 IPL auction. ABD has captained his national team, South Africa, before and has the experience, and the batting skills to lead from the front. However, ABD would be 38 when the next season starts, and hence, RCB management may overlook him, and look for a young cricketer as captain.
Along with the star players Kohli, ABD, and Glenn Maxwell, Padikkal has carried RCB batting on his shoulders for the last few seasons, and has been their mainstay, and is likely to be retained for the next season as well. And at 21, he is a long-term prospect as a captain who would not come with any baggage of RCB being trophyless so far. It would be a gamble for RCB to pin hopes on Padikkal, but he is one of the frontrunners for the role.
Outside the squad
Smith was given the boot by Rajasthan Royals after a disappointing 2019 season. Since then, he has struggled to find a spot in the playing XI for Delhi Capitals and continues to warm the benches. He is unlikely to be retained by the Capitals for the next season, and RCB may target him as the next skipper, although there is no cordial relationship between him and Kohli.
However, Kohli admires him as a player and would have no problems playing under him if RCB chooses Smith as skipper of the next season. Smith has rather on and off IPL career as captain with him leading Rising Pune Supergiant to the final of IPL 2017 as the highlight.
Warner has lost favor with SRH management after a poor start in the first half of IPL 2021. He was dropped as captain, and as a player before getting his place back again. If Jonny Bairstow returns for the next season, SRH may not retain Warner, who could be a potential target for RCB as their captain next season. RCB also needs an explosive opening batsman to partner with Padikkal while Kohli stabilizes the middle-order. Also, Warner has proven captaincy skills, leading SRH to title in the 2016 IPL final against RCB.
Just like Smith, Rahane too is warming the Delhi Capitals benches despite proven show as a top-order batsman and T20 skipper. His calm approach is what RCB would like to have their leader possess, and the fact that Kohli and Rahane share great rapport both on and off the field would be a blessing. It’s certain Rahane may not be retained by Delhi next season, opening a possibility of being targeted by RCB both as a middle-order batsman and skipper.
Cover Credits: RCBofficial