On Thursday (September 16), Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli announced that he will relieve himself from the duties of leading the T20I side after the conclusion of the ICC T20 World Cup.
Kohli has been leading India in Tests ever since MS Dhoni stepped down as the skipper after the end of the Australia tour in 2014. Moreover, he was handed the responsibility of leading the side in all formats when MS Dhoni stepped away from the role towards the start of 2017. So, Kohli has been shouldering this massive responsibility for many years and now he thinks that it is about time to help in the transition of leadership smoothly on to others.
“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,” Kohli wrote in his statement, posted on social media.
The 32-year-old mentioned in his statement that it is the ‘immense workload’ that comes with the responsibility of leading the side in all three formats that prompted him to take this decision.
“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,” Kohli said.
He also mentioned that he has taken this decision after consultation with head coach Ravi Shastri, white-ball format vice-captain Rohit Sharma, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah.
The Times of India had already carried out a report a few days back talking about this possible move from Kohli. But the publication and the report were heavily criticized on social media as the source mentioned in the article was anonymous. Even top BCCI officials had called the report absolutely ‘baseless’.
However, as it has turned out now, everything mentioned in the report has come true. After Kohli, Rohit Sharma is expected to take over the reigns of the T20I side. The 34-year-old is already Kohli’s deputy in the white-ball format and has already proven his mettle as a leader having led Mumbai Indians to five IPL titles.
For now, everybody needs to turn their attention towards the upcoming T20 World Cup, which starts on 17 October in the UAE.