Virat Kohli to relinquish India's Twenty20 captaincy after World Cup - GulfToday

Virat Kohli to relinquish India's Twenty20 captaincy after World Cup


Virat Kohli says he wants to reduce a little load off his shoulder. File

Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sports Reporter

In what could be a watershed moment for Indian cricket, Virat Kohli announced to relinquish the T20 captaincy after the World Cup in Oman and UAE, citing workload as the reason.

“Understanding the workload is very important thing and considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years and playing in all three formats and captaining the team for 5-6 years, I think I need to give myself some space to be fully ready to lead Indian team in the Test and ODI cricket,” Kohli tweeted.

Kohli vowed to render his services to the Indian team in T20s as batsman and continue to lead the side in the longer formats – ODI and Test cricket.

“I had given my everything to the team as a T20 captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 team as a batsman going forward,” read the statement.He also expressed his gratitude to all who have been associated with him in his long journey.

Virat-Anushka Virat Kohli with his wife Anushka Sharma.

“I have been fortunate enough not to only represent India but also lead the Indian Cricket Team to my utmost capability. I thank everyone, who supported me in journey as the captain of India,” read the statement further.

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"Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time. After a lot of contemplation and discussions with my close people, 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 after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October.

“I have also spoken to the secretary Mr Jay Shah and the President of BCCI Mr Sourav Ganguly along with all the selectors about the same. I will continue to serve Indian Cricket and the Indian Team to the best of my ability," Kohli elaborated in the tweet.

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The rumours of the split captaincy was swirling around of late with many former Indian cricketers joining the chorus for the change of guard after the failure of Kohli to win any major tournament since taking over from MS Dhoni.

His deputy Rohit is being tipped to take over the reins of Indian cricket team in T20s. Rohit boasts of a stellar record in the IPL, having steered his side Mumbai Indians to five titles in the richest league of the world. Rohit also led India to Asia Cup glory, when they beat Bangladesh in a nail-biting final in Dubai.

Soon after the announcement of Kohli, BCCI also issued a statement on their website with President Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah wishing Kohli all the best for his future endeavors.

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"Virat has been a true asset for Indian Cricket and has led with aplomb. 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,” said Ganguly.

Dhoni, who won the World Cup in both the formats and Champions Trophy, passed on the baton to Kohli in 2017. After getting the reins of the Indian team in T20s, he became the Indian captain in all three formats. Under the leadership of Kohli, in 45 T20s, India won 27 and lost 14 while two ended in ties.

He is the only Indian captain to win T20 series in South Africa and England before going on to whitewash New Zealand 5-0 on their home turf. He also guided

India to 2-1 series victory in Border-Gavaskar trophy in 2020. His batting record as a captain in the formats is quite impressive as well as the majestic batsman has scored 1,502 runs including 12 fifties at an average of 48.45 and a strike rate of 143.18.

The flamboyant Indian skipper left fans shell-shocked and dumbstruck with the announcement with just almost a month to go for the cricket aextravaganza.

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