Indian captain announces his decision ahead of next month’s T20 World Cup.
Indian captain Virat Kohli shocked the cricketing world as he announced his decision to step down as the country’s captain from the game’s shortest format after the upcoming T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to start from October.
In a note shared on his Twitter account, Kohli made his decision public and stated than he had spoken with the leadership group of head coach Ravi Shastri and Rohit Sharma before making the decision and had also informed the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah. Kohli said he had his personal workload in mind and his vision to lead the side with everything in the Test and ODI format, and these factors played on his mind before making the decision.
He said in a statement:
“I have been fortunate enough to not only represent India but also lead the Indian Cricket Team to my utmost capability. I thank everyone who has supported me in my journey as the Captain of the Indian Cricket Team. I couldn’t have done it without them – the boys, the support staff, the selection committee, my coaches and each and every Indian who prayed for us to win.
“Understanding workload is a very important thing and considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all 3 formats and captaining regularly for last 5-6 years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian Team in Test and ODI Cricket. I have given everything to the Team during my time as T20 Captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 Team as a batsman moving forward.
“Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time. After a lot of contemplation and discussions with my close people, Ravi bhai and also Rohit, who have been an essential part of the leadership group, I’ve decided to step down as the T20 Captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October. I have also spoken to the secretary Mr Jay Shah and the President of BCCI Mr Sourav Ganguly along with all the selectors about the same. I will continue to serve Indian Cricket and the Indian Team to the best of my ability.”
Kohli became the T20I and ODI captain in early 2017 after Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped down from his role. Since becoming captain, Kohli has had a strong captaincy record in the shortest format, with 27 wins out of 45 games and a win percentage of 65.11%. He is also the second most successful T20 captain of India behind Dhoni and holds the record for most number of runs scored by a captain in the format.
Kohli remains the only Indian captain to win T20 bilateral series in SENA countries, having won 5-0 in New Zealand in 2020, 2-1 in Australia in 2020, 2-1 in England in 2018 and 2-1 in South Africa in 2018. He is also ranked fourth on the all-time list of captains with most T20I wins behind Asghar Afghan, MS Dhoni and Eoin Morgan.
Although he holds a strong record, Kohli doesn’t have a major international trophy to prove his claim as the greatest and he will be hoping that he can sign off as captain by giving his team and country the perfect gift – winning the T20 World Cup.
Kohli’s immediate assignments as captain are to lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the second phase of the Indian Premier League and finish his captaincy stint with the T20 team stronglyat the World Cup. He will continue to lead the side in the Test and ODI formats.
It remains to be seen as who will lead the team after Kohli in the shortest format, but the most likely candidate is Rohit Sharma.