Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore will continue to wait for their maiden IPL trophy after exiting the season in the playoffs on Friday night. RCB were defeated by SRH in the Eliminator following which batting legend Gautam Gambhir has advised the franchise to move beyond Kohli as the captain.

Kohli was appointed RCB captain in 2013 and since then, under him, RCB have once made the final when they finished runners-up.

When asked whether Kohli should be replaced as the skipper, Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo, ” 100 per cent, because the problem is about accountability. Eight years into the tournament (without a trophy), eight years is a long time.”

Gambhir, who himself led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles, says no other player has gotten the long rope as Kohli without winning a title and it’s time he be made accountable for the results.

“Tell me any other captain forget about captain, tell me any other player who would have got eight years and wouldn’t have won the title and would have still continued with it. So it has to be accountability,” Gambhir said.

Gambhir says Kohli has to himself take the responsibility.

“…somewhere down the line, he needs to put his hand up and say, ‘yes, I am responsible. I am accountable’,” he said.

Gambhir also cited the example of Ravichandran Ashwin who was removed as Kings XI Punjab captain just after two seasons. “Eight years is a long, long time. Look at what happened to R Ashwin. Two years of captaincy, he couldn’t deliver and he was removed,” the 38-year-old said.

Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni have been the captains of their respective IPL franchises is because of the fact that they have delivered trophies, argued Gambhir.

“We talk about MS Dhoni, we talk about Rohit Sharma, we talk about Virat Kohli…not at all. Dhoni has won three (IPL) titles, Rohit Sharma has won four titles, and that’s the reason they’ve captained for such a long time because they’ve delivered,” he said.

“I’m sure if Rohit Sharma wouldn’t have delivered for eight years, he would have been removed as well. There should not be different yardsticks for different people,” he added.

RCB were impressive at the start of the season, winning seven of their 10 matches. However, they lost their next five matches and Gambhir said they didn’t even deserve to qualify for the playoffs.

“You can keep saying ‘we qualified for the playoffs and we deserved to qualify for the playoffs’, absolutely not. RCB actually never deserved to qualify for the playoffs,” he said.

The former India opener even claimed that RCB have become a team of two players – Kohli and AB de Villiers.

“And then they should have had a squad, probably if Virat wanted to open, they should have picked a middle-order batter in the auction. But again it was all about Virat and AB (de Villiers),” he said.

“Imagine if AB would have had a bad season, tell me what would have happened to RCB. He was the one who actually won them two or three games out of seven. I don’t think as a unit they’ve done anything different from what they did last year. It’s exactly the same this year as well. Only because you’ve qualified for the playoffs, just because of one individual’s absolute brilliance, it doesn’t make you a strong contender to win the IPL,” he added.