'Captaincy is not anyone's birthright': Gambhir uses stern words for Kohli's future; 'his role doesn't change one bit'
- Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has, in stern words, talked about Virat Kohli's role in the upcoming ODI series against South Africa following his surprising decision to step down as Test captain.
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has opined that it is now time for Virat Kohli to focus on his batting, in the upcoming ODI series against South Africa, after quitting the Test Captaincy on Saturday.
Kohli's next assignment after the shocking decision will be his first after relinquishing the leadership role across all formats and tournaments. He will be captained by stand-in skipper KL Rahul as he will handle the mantle in the absence of Rohit Sharma.
While speaking on Star Sports' show Game Plan, Gambhir, when asked if one can expect to see something new from 33-year-old Kohli, said:
"What new do you want to see? Captaincy is not anyone's birthright. People like MS Dhoni have given the captaincy baton to Virat Kohli, he has played under Virat Kohli as well. He has won three ICC trophies and four IPL trophies as well."
He further elaborated:
“I think Kohli should look to score runs and that is more important. When you dream of playing for India, you don't dream to become a captain. You dream of winning games for India and nothing changes, except that you are not going out there to do the toss and set the field placement, but your energy and intensity should remain the same because it's an honor playing for the country.”
Cricketer-turned-politician Gambhir also spoke about Kohli's role, saying it's barely to change.
"Exactly the same what he had when he was captaining the side. Batting at No. 3, scoring lots and lots of runs and probably anchoring the innings as well. When Rohit Sharma comes in with KL Rahul at the top of the order, Kohli's role doesn't change one bit.
“As I just mentioned apart from not going for the toss and setting the field placements, rest everything remains the same. He has got to bat at No.3, he has got to score a lot of runs in white-ball cricket. So I am sure, I think nothing changes,” concluded Gambhir.
The first India-South Africa ODI begins on Wednesday, January 19, at Boland Park in Paarl.