IPL 2021: Virat Kohli is a leader more than a captain, says Purple Cap holder Harshal Patel

Virat Kohli captained Royal Challengers Bangalore one last time against Kolkata Knight Riders at Sharjah but couldn't get the result he and his team were hoping for. Pacer and Purple Cap holder Harshal Patel says that it'll not make much difference if Kohli is not the captain next season because he is a leader. 

IPL 2021: Virat Kohli is a leader more than a captain, says Purple Cap holder Harshal Patel
RCB's Harshal Patel (left) celebrates after dismissing Venkatesh Iyer of Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 2021 Eliminator. (Photo: ANI)

Virat Kohli will not captain Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but pacer Harshal Patel said Kohli is 'definitely a leader' irrespective of whether he is leading the side or not. Kohli's captaincy era in the IPL came to an end on Monday as RCB suffered a four-wicket loss against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Eliminator.

Pacer Harshal Patel lavished praise on Kohli and thanked him for his contributions to RCB over the years. "Virat gives bowlers their space, lets you execute your plans. Grateful to him. I have learnt a lot playing with him since 2012. In terms of his captaincy, there are captains, and there are leaders. He is definitely a leader," said Harshal in the post-match press conference.

"Just because he won't have the tag of captaincy anymore, it doesn`t make him any less of a leader. I just want to thank him for his contributions to the team and my growth and whenever he supported me when I was down," he added. When the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 resumed, Kohli announced that he would step down as the skipper of the franchise after the ongoing edition.

Kohli had become the regular captain at Royal Challengers in 2013 and he has been a part of the franchise as a player since the inception of the IPL in 2008. "We are going to celebrate his contributions. It would have been nicer to celebrate that with a trophy in our hands. But it was not meant to be. His contribution has been immense; we are definitely going to celebrate that," said Harshal.

Under Virat Kohli, RCB had reached the finals of IPL in 2016 and it was in the same edition that Kohli registered the most number of runs by a batter in a single season. However, after that RCB found the going tough and the side failed to reach the playoffs in three consecutive years and the jinx was finally broken in 2020. In the 140 matches he captained in IPL, Kohli won 66 and lost 70 while four were no results.

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