Virat Kohli to Step Down as India’s T20I Captain after T20 World Cup

Virat Kohli
Photo Instagrammed by Virat Kohli.

After the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman in October-November, Virat Kohli will step down as India’s T20I captain. On Thursday, the Indian skipper resorted to social media to announce the news.

Kohli claimed he held lengthy discussions with head coach Ravi Shastri and white-ball captain Rohit Sharma before deciding that he needed to focus more on ODI and Test cricket as a batter and as captain to lead the team to new heights.

“After a lot of contemplation and discussion with my close people, Ravi bhai and also Rohit, who have been an essential part of the leadership group, I have decided to step down as the T20 captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October,” Kohli wrote on Instagram and Twitter.

Kohli, on the other hand, has affirmed that he will remain a member of India’s T20I team as a player.

“I have also spoken to the BCCI secretary Jay Shah and president Sourav Ganguly along with all the selectors at the same time. I will continue to serve Indian cricket team and the Indian team to the best of ability,” he continued.

“I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the India in Tests, ODIs”: Kohli

Kohli stated that his “immense workload in the last 8-9 years” as a player and approximately 5-6 years as captain has made him feel that he needs “space” to lead the Indian team properly in ODIs and Test cricket.

“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,” he added.

Virat Kohli, who took over as India’s Test captain midway through the 2014-15 Australia tour after MS Dhoni stepped down, thanked his teammates, support staff, and fans for their support.

“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,” Kohli added.

When MS Dhoni opted to step down as limited-overs captain in 2017, Kohli was named as India’s all-format captain. Kohli’s first major task as captain was the 2017 Champions Trophy, which India lost in the final to Pakistan.

Kohli remarked, “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.”

Kohli’s first and last T20 World Cup assignment as an India skipper will be in the UAE and Oman, where India will open their campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.

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