'I find it strange that cricketers decide themselves what to do and what not': Kapil Dev reacts to Kohli stepping down
- Former India captain Kapil Dev admitted that Virat Kohli's decision to step down as India's T20I captaincy came to him as a surprise.
Virat Kohli's decision to step down as India's T20I captain after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup has left the cricketing world divided. While some did not see it coming, others welcomed the call for the very same reason Kohli took it – workload management. Former India captain Kapil Dev belongs to the former, as he admitted that Kohli's decision to relinquish India's T20 captaincy came to him as a surprise.
"I never thought of anything like this. But these days, I find it strange that cricketers decide themselves what to do and what not. I think selectors too should have a say on this. And I feel the cricketers should take to the selectors and the board before they take such a big decision. I think it's very important. There was no need to announce it so early. He is a brilliant player. Even if a season went bad, it doesn't change that he is a great cricketer and a great captain," Kapil told ABP news.
Kohli mentioned on his social media post that the decision was taken keeping the leadership group – which coach Ravi Shastri and teammate Rohit Sharma are a part of – in the loop and that the India captain had also spoken to BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah regarding the same. Irrespective of the decision, Kapil understands it's a personal call and wished Kohli the best.
"If he has taken this decision and spoken to the selectors, it's ok. That's his personal decision. I can't really say anything. Cricketers these days make their own decisions. Just want to say 'Well done. You have served the country so well. I wish you luck for the rest of your career’," Kapil added.
Kapil acknowledged Kohli's decision to come up with an announcement this big, saying it takes a player and captain of his calibre a lot of courage. In a minimum of leading the country in 30 T20I matches, Kohli is the world's third most successful captain, behind Afghanistan's Asghar Afghan and Sarfaraz Ahmed of Pakistan. He's led led India to 27 wins from 45 matches, with a win percentage of 65.11.
"I think we should respect the honesty. He said he doesn't want to captain in a format, which is a big thing. Dhoni did this. The only thing I find strange that these announcements are made through tweets. This I can't understand. Cricketers these days can say that I don't want to play beyond a certain point, or play only the IPL or only T20. They have the courage to say these things, so hats off to them," Kapil, India's first Cricket World Cup winning captain, said.