Why did Anil Kumble leave out Virat Kohli from his IPL 2019 XI? He himself answers

Why did Anil Kumble leave out Virat Kohli from his IPL 2019 XI? He himself answers

Rishabh Pant also made it to Kumble's team of the season.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo: Sandip Mahankal/IANS)

The ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) didn’t go as planned for Virat Kohli. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), under his leadership, won only five matches in 14 matches and finished at the bottom of the points table. The start of the season was forgettable for them as the team lost six matches on the trot and this is where they were left behind in the race. With the season coming to an end, the experts are busy carving out their own best XIs of the season and even Anil Kumble did the same.

Though RCB didn’t do well, Kohli was exceptional with the bat amassing 464 runs in 14 matches at an average of 33.14 and the strike-rate of 141.46. However, Kumble didn’t pick the RCB skipper in his XI and preferred Shreyas Iyer for the number three spot which raised many eyebrows. The former India coach has explained the reason for the same and has justified his picks in the XI.

Iyer batted in difficult conditions

Anil Kumble singled out Shreyas Iyer’s performances on a difficult Delhi pitch and the way he led his team Delhi Capitals throughout the season. The Delhi franchise made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2012 and also managed to win their first game in the knockout phase.

“Iyer is young and has done really well. He has batted in difficult conditions. The Delhi pitch hasn’t been great but he’s led from the front. Was thinking of keeping Virat, Iyer, and Dhoni as No. 3, 4, and 5 but wanted to have a left-hander in the side. Therefore I’m opting for Rishabh pant. Pant has shown a lot of maturity, scored runs for Delhi Capitals,” Kumble said while speaking to Cricket Next.

Anil Kumble’s XI consisted of the players like David Warner, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni with Hardik Pandya and Andre Russell as the all-rounders apart from Iyer and Pant. Also, the top bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Jasprit Bumrah also made the cut in his team as the former India cricketer picked none other than Dhoni as the captain.

Here’s Kumble’s IPL XI of 2019 season: David Warner, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Hardik Pandya, Andre Russell, Kagiso Rabada, Shreyas Gopal, Jasprit Bumrah, Imran Tahir.

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