Star batsman Virat Kohli announced on Thursday that he will give up the India’s T20I captaincy after the World Cup that starts next month.
“Understanding workload is a very important thing... I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian team in Test and ODI Cricket,” said Kohli, whose leadership has been the subject of mounting speculation in recent months.
“I’ve decided to step down as the T20 captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October,” he added in a Twitter post.
He also said he had informed Shah, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and the national selectors of his decision.
BCCI said Kohli “will continue to be available for selection for the T20 format post the upcoming ICC (International Cricket Council) event”.
“Virat has been a true asset for Indian cricket and has led with aplomb,” Ganguly said of the flamboyant captain.
“He is one of the most successful captains in all the formats. The decision has been made keeping in mind the future roadmap. We thank Virat for his tremendous performance as the T20I Captain. We wish him all the best for the upcoming World Cup and beyond and hope that he continues to score plenty of runs for India.”
Jay Shah said: “We have a clear roadmap for Team India. Considering the workloads and ensuring that we have smooth transition, Mr Virat Kohli has decided to step down as T20I Captain after the upcoming World Cup. I have been in discussions with Virat and the leadership team 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.”
Kohli is set to lead his Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore in the T20 tournament which resumes Sunday in the United Arab Emirates after a four-month pandemic suspension.
The T20 World Cup will begin two days after the IPL ends on October 15 in the UAE and Oman with the final scheduled on November 14.
Indian media reported that Sharma could take over as limited-overs captain.
Sharma, a swashbuckling opener, has led IPL holders Mumbai Indians to a record five titles while Kohli’s Bangalore are still searching for their maiden crown.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes the change in the T20 leadership won’t affect a “settled” Indian team.
“It won’t have much of an impact on Team India,” Gavaskar said on Indian TV channel Aaj Tak.
“Now it’s widely reported that Rohit will become the T20 captain due to his IPL record. It is a settled group and will take little time for the players, who have been around for a while, to adjust to the change.”
Kohli, a prolific top-order batsman, led India to the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy and the semi-final of the 2019 50-over World Cup.
Kohli captained India in a total of 45 T20 matches with 27 wins, 14 losses and two tied games.
As captain, he scored 1,502 runs including 12 half-centuries at an average of 48.45 and a strike rate of 143.18.
Kohli will have Dhoni as a mentor of the national side in his first and last outing as captain in the T20 World Cup.
Inputs from AFP
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