Virat Kohli has made a surprising decision about his future as the captain of India as the gunbatsman’s priorities begin to shift.
Star batsman Virat Kohli announced that he will relinquish the India T20 captain’s armband after the World Cup starting next month.
“Understanding the workload is very important…I feel like I have to give myself the space to be fully ready to lead the Indian team in Test and ODI Cricket,” said Kohli, whose leadership has continued in recent months. has been the subject of increasing speculation.
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“I have decided to step down as captain of the T20 after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October,” he added in a Twitter post.
The 32-year-old, who became captain of the limited-overs after MS Dhoni stepped aside in 2017, has been under pressure for failing India to win the World Cup or the Champions Trophy. But Jay Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), this week had backed Kohli to continue.
“I gave everything to the team during my time as T20 captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 team as a forward-thinking batsman,” Kohli said.
“Of course it took a lot of time to come to the decision,” he explained, adding that he had consulted with Indian coach Ravi Shastri and lead-off hitter Rohit Sharma.
He also said he informed Shah, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and national voters of his decision.
The BCCI said Kohli “will remain available for selection for the T20 format after the upcoming ICC (International Cricket Council) event”.
“Virat has been a real asset to Indian Cricket and has led with confidence,” Ganguly said of the flamboyant captain.
“He is one of the most successful captains of all sizes. The decision was made with the future roadmap in mind.”
Kohli will lead his Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore in the T20 tournament which resumes this weekend in the United Arab Emirates after a four-month pandemic suspension.
The T20 World Cup kicks off two days after the IPL ends on October 15 in the UAE and Oman, with the final scheduled for November 14.
Indian media reported that Sharma could take the helm as commander. A reckless opener, Sharma has led IPL holders Mumbai Indians to a record five titles, while Kohli’s Bangalore is still looking for their first crown.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes the change in leadership of the T20 will not affect an ‘established’ Indian team.
“It won’t have much of an impact on Team India,” Gavaskar told Indian TV channel ‘Aaj Tak’.
“Now it is widely reported that Rohit will become the T20 captain because of his IPL record. It is a regular group and it will take the players, who have been around for a while, very little time to adapt to the change.”
A prolific top-order batsman, Kohli led India to the 2017 Champions Trophy final and the 2019 50-over World Cup semi-finals.
He captained India in a total of 45 T20 matches with 27 wins, 14 losses and two draws.
As captain, Kohli scored 1502 runs, including 12 half-centuries with an average of 48.45 and a strike rate of 143.18.
Kohli will have Dhoni as the national side’s mentor in his first and final appearance as captain in the T20 World Cup.
Originally published as Virat Kohli makes shocking appeal about the future of India’s captaincy