Virat Kohli revealed on Twitter on Thursday (September 16) that he will step down as India’s T20I captain after the T20 World Cup in the UAE next month. Kohli said he made the choice after consulting with coach Ravi Shastri and vice captain Rohit Sharma about how to properly manage his captaincy workload in the Test and ODI formats.
“I’ve had the good fortune to not only represent India, but also to lead the Indian Cricket Team to its full potential. I’d want to express my gratitude to everyone who has helped me along the way as 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 every Indian who wish us luck, “Kohli penned the following.
“Understanding workload is critical, and given my enormous exertion over the last 8-9 years playing all three formats and captaining frequently for the last 5-6 years, I believe I need to allow myself space to be properly prepared to lead the Indian team in Test and ODI cricket.” During my time as T20 Captain, I gave my all for the team, and I will continue to do so as a batter for the T20 Team in the future.
“Of course, it took a long time to come to this conclusion. After much thought and debate with my close friends, Ravi bhai and Rohit, both of whom have played an important role in the leadership group, I’ve chosen to step aside as T20 Captain after the T20 World Cup in Dubai in October. I’ve also discussed it with the secretary, Mr. Jay Shah, and the BCCI President, Mr. Sourav Ganguly, as well as all of the selectors. I shall continue to do my best to assist Indian cricket and the Indian team “Added he.
Ganguly hailed Kohli’s accomplishments as T20I captain in a BCCI press release. “Virat Kohli has been a tremendous asset to Indian cricket and has led the team admirably. In all formats, he is one of the most successful captains. The choice was made with the future plan in mind. We congratulate Virat Kohli on his outstanding performance as the T20I captain. We wish him luck in the forthcoming World Cup and beyond, and we hope he continues to contribute to India’s success.”
The secretary of the BCCI, Jay Shah, added: “Team India has a well-defined strategy. Mr Virat Kohli has opted to step down as T20I Captain after the 2019 World Cup due to workloads and to ensure a smooth transition. For the past six months, I’ve been in discussions with Virat and the leadership team, and the decision has been carefully considered. Virat Kohli will continue to shape the future of Indian cricket as a player and as a senior member of the team.”
In 2017, Kohli took over as T20I captain from MS Dhoni, and his debut series was a three-match T20I series against England in January-February 2017, which India won 2-1. Kohli has led India to 29 wins (including two Super Over triumphs against New Zealand in January 2020), 14 losses, and two no results in 45 matches. Kohli’s first and only captaincy duty for India in a T20 World Cup will be in the UAE.
Kohli averages 48.45 as T20I captain, with 12 half-centuries, including a career-best 94 not out against West Indies in December 2019 as India chased down 208 in this game. Kohli is the leading run-getter in T20Is and the only men’s cricketer to cross 3000 T20I runs.
However, Kohli’s captaincy in the T20 format has recently sparked debate, and the emergence of a viable option in Rohit Sharma, who has guided Mumbai Indians to five IPL titles since 2013, has only added fuel to the fire. Kohli has been the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore since 2013, and the team’s greatest finish was in the 2016 season, when they finished second after losing in the final against Sunrisers Hyderabad. In 2017 and 2019, the Royal Challengers finished ninth, whereas in 2014 and 2018 they were seventh and sixth, respectively.
The Group phase matches in Oman kick off the T20I World Cup on October 17. On October 24, India will play Pakistan in Dubai to begin their season.