Chris Gayle ignored as RCB considered the future, says Kohli

The West Indian big hitter served the franchise for seven seasons; he was snaffled by Kings XI Punjab in the 2018 IPL auctions.

Chris Gayle spent seven seasons with Royal Challengers Bangalore.   -  PTI

Chris Gayle was ignored by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in January as the franchise needed to look to the future, according to captain Virat Kohli.

Kohli said, “He has done a great job for RCB over the past few years but looking at the team dynamics for the next three years the decision was taken. We thought of infusing new people who will give us the kind of balance we require.”

He added, “I do not want to take anything away from Chris as we just decided to go in with the balance that can sustain the team in the next three years. We did not want to be relying on two or three people all the time.”

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Kohli brushed off his team’s last visit at the Eden Gardens when RCB was dismissed for the lowest IPL total. He said the incident could easily be forgotten as a one-off bad game. “We do not have bad records here. It was just a one-off game and we put it behind us immediately that night itself. It was bizarre, very rarely you get out for 49 with a good batting line-up. That shows all about T20 cricket and what momentum can do in this format,” he said.

‘Fresh start’

Dinesh Karthik, the Kolkata Knight Riders captain, looked forward to fulfilling his new role with a new team. He said, “It is a fresh start for all of us. We have a new set of players here so pressure will always be there in IPL. There is no running away from it and you have to embrace it and enjoy it. That is what I am looking forward to do.”

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Karthik said he will try to bring in the “calm” into his captaincy that had resulted in a title-winning knock in the Twenty20 tri-series in Bangladesh. “I will be looking to bring in that calm in my captaincy. There will be time when we come under pressure and I should be able to react in a calm manner without getting too emotional about it. That is the takeaway for me from that game,” Karthik said.