Virat Kohli will step down as captain of the Indian men's T20 team after the 2021 T20 World Cup which will be held in UAE and Oman. Kohli, who will captain Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, took to social media to announce his decision on 16 September.
The Kohli led Indian team will be looking for their second men's T20 World Cup title after having won the inaugural one in 2007. India will go to the World Cup with former captain MS Dhoni as a mentor as well. India's vice-captain for the T20 World Cup will be Rohit Sharma.
The T20 World Cup begins on 17 October in Oman with the qualifiers. India will play the first match against Pakistan on 24 October in Dubai.
Kohli will however continue to lead India in Tests and ODIs.
Though a formal announcement from the BCCI is still awaited, it is largely expected that Rohit is the likely to take over from Kohli.
Kohli has scored 3,159 runs in 90 T20I appearances for India. He was named player of the tournament in the 2016 edition of the T20 World Cup under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.
Kohli had been appointed limited-overs captain in 2017, three years after taking over the Test captaincy.
Virat's intensity was insane. I had thought he would give up the captaincy of #RCB which would give him two months off as leader. Hopefully this can give his mind the rest it needs and who knows, find him another peak as a T20 batsman.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 16, 2021
“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. 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.
“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 the 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 team as T20 Captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 Team as a batsman moving forward.
“Of course arriving at this decision took a lot of time. 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. 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,” Kohli said in his statement.
Kohli, in his years as India T20I captain, has led the team in 45 games and won 27 matches, losing 14 with two tied and 2 more that had no results. Kohli led India to T20I series wins in Australia, England, South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Earlier in the week, BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal rubbished reports suggesting that Team India captain Virat Kohli is likely to step down as skipper of the limited-overs format after the ICC T20 World Cup.
"This is all rubbish. Nothing (as) such is happening. This is all what you guys (media) are talking about. BCCI has not met or discussed anything on this issue (split captaincy)," Dhumal told IANS. "Virat will remain as the captain (of all formats)."
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