Virat Kohli announced his decision to step down from captaincy after the T20 World Cup last month and the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly admitted to being surprised by it. Kohli took over from MS Dhoni, when the latter relinquished captaincy in 2017. Under Kohli, India have made the finals of the Champions Trophy in 2017 and semi-finals of the World Cup 2019 but are yet to win a title.
“I was surprised. This decision must have been taken only after the England tour and it is his decision,” said Ganguly, speaking on Salaam Cricket.
“There was no pressure from our end, we didn't tell him anything. We don't do things like that because I myself have been a player so I understand. It is very difficult to be a captain in all formats for this long.”
"I was a captain for six years, it looks good from the outside, there is respect and all that. But you get burnt out on the inside and it happens to any captain. Not just to Tendulkar or Ganguly or Dhoni or Kohli but to the captain that will come up next as well. It is a tough job.”
For the T20 World Cup, the BCCI roped in former skipper Dhoni as the mentor of the side to assist the think-tank comprising head coach Ravi Shastri, batting coach Vikram Rathour, bowling coach Bharath Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar, apart from Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma. Dhoni, as India’s captain, led them to the inaugural T20 World Cup title in 2007, the World Cup win in 2011 and the Champions Trophy win a couple of years later.
“Jay (Shah, BCCI secretary) and I were discussing for a long time about how to involve Dhoni. He has won two World Cups after all and has not left cricket completely,” revealed the former India captain.
“Hopefully, he will be a good addition. It can't possibly be bad. Let's see.”
“Ravi Shastri is the head coach, Virat is the captain and MS will just help them,” said Ganguly, brushing off talks about ego clashes.
“MS is a mature person, he will know what to say when. I am sure all this was discussed and so hope for the best. He is just for this trip.”
“They are all such big players, I just don't see any issues,” he concluded.