The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that Virat Kohli decided to step down as captain of the T20I after the upcoming 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The 32-year-old confirmed the announcement on Twitter, saying that he needs to “give himself space” to prepare properly as he continues as India’s captain in Test and One-Day International (ODI) format.
“Kohli will continue to be available for selection for the T20 format post the upcoming ICC event in 2021, which is hosted by the BCCI in UAE and Oman,” said BCCI statement. In his statement, Kohli said, “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 Team.”
According to reports, the 32-year-old said he consulted, among others, Rohit before taking the decision. “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,” Kohli added.
Kohli was appointed limited-overs captain in 2017, three years after taking over the Test captaincy. During Kohli’s captaincy, India went to a landmark Test series win in Australia in January and they were leading 2-1 in England when the fifth and final Test was controversially cancelled last week because of a coronavirus outbreak in the tourists’ camp.
India have not lost a Twenty20 series under Kohli, but they have failed to win either the 50-over Champions Trophy, World Cup or T20 World Cup since he became white ball captain in 2017. He was named player of the series in the 2016 edition of the T20 World Cup under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, the legendary captain who he succeeds.
Indian media had reported that opening batsman Rohit Sharma could take over as Twenty20 and 50-over captain and that the change had been discussed by the BCCI. “As long as a team is performing, the question of change in captaincy doesn’t arise,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in an interview. The T20 World Cup is to be held in United Arab Emirates and Oman between October 17 and November 14.
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