NEW DELHI: Virat Kohli has announced he will be stepping down as India’s Twenty20 captain after the T20 World Cup which starts next month in Dubai.
However, he will be available in the shortest format as a batsman and will continue in his designated role as captain of the Test and ODI teams. This will enable him to manage his workload, he claims.
This decision will pave the way for Rohit Sharma to captain in the Twenty20. It is understood that Kohli informed the BCCI top brass of his decision only 30 minutes before he made the announcement on social media. The decision has come days after reports emanated about an imminent change in leadership in the shorter format. The report had stated Sharma is set to take over, at least in T20Is, considering his record, having led Mumbai Indians to five IPL titles.
On the other hand, while India’s record under Kohli in T20s has been good, the skipper was still in quest for his first ICC trophy. Kohli led India in 45 matches winning 27 and losing 14, while two matches ended in no results and two had been tied. That makes Kohli India’s second most successful T20 captain in terms of wins. Dhoni leads the tally with 41 wins in 72 matches
The 32-year-old said on Twitter, ‘‘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.’’
‘‘Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time. After a lot of contemplation and discussions with my close associates, 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.’’
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, in a statement issued by the Board after Kohli's announcement, said the body has been in discussion with Kohli for a while now. "We have a clear roadmap for Team India. I have been in discussions with Virat and the leadership for the last six months and the decision has been thought through. Virat will continue to contribute as a player and as a senior member of the side in shaping the future course of Indian cricket," he added.