Cricket megastar Virat Kohli announced Thursday that he will give up the India T20 captaincy after the World Cup that starts next month in Oman and the UAE.
Kohli is intent on focusing on leading India in the longer formats of the game, where he aims to guide the team to the 2023 World Cup and the next ICC Test World Championship.
Virat Kohli to quit as India skipper after T20 World Cup
“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 and criticsm in recent months.
“I’ve decided to step down as the T20 captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October,” Kohli added in a Twitter post.
Virat Kohli of India hits 4 during the 1st T20i match between West Indies and India at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on August 3, 2019. (Photo by Randy Brooks / AFP)
Kohli, who became limited-overs captain after M.S. Dhoni stepped aside in 2017, has faced pressure over his failure to win India either the World Cup, Champions Trophy or T20 World Cup tournaments his team were tipped to excel in.
Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Jay Shah publicly backed Kohli to continue as skipper this week.
“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,” said Kohli.
“Of course, arriving at the decision took a lot of time,” he explained, adding that he had consulted with India coach Ravi Shastri and opening batsman Rohit Sharma.
Kohli also said he had informed Shah, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and the national selectors of his decision.
Indian media have reported that Rohit Sharma could take over as limited-overs captain and that the change had been discussed by the BCCI.
Kohli is set to lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League which resumes Sunday in the UAE after a four-month pandemic suspension.