'I've gone through it when I was KKR captain': Karthik explains 'weird phase' in Team India; 'Kohli will feel awkward'
Team India faced a devastating defeat in the second ODI against South Africa in Paarl, as the side conceded a series defeat on the return to the format after over six months. The KL Rahul-led side suffered a seven-wicket loss in Boland Park after the hosts chased down the 288-run target with 11 deliveries to spare.
The series had also marked India's first appearance in the fifty-over format since Kohli was removed as captain of the ODI team. While Rohit Sharma had succeeded him as full-time limited-overs captain, Rahul led the team in South Africa due to the former's fitness issues. Needless to say, it wasn't a start Rahul expected to his maiden stint as ODI captain but wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik believes that it will take some time for the “transition” phase to settle.
“When it comes to energy, Virat is second to none. And I think he will infuse that. (But) Sometimes, he would like to think if team needs to be run the way a KL or a Rohit wants, he will take a backseat. He can't throw the ball and say ‘come on guys!’. He will feel awkward because he wouldn't want to step on Rahul's shoes,” Karthik said on Cricbuzz.
Karthik also cited an example from his own time in Kolkata Knight Riders during the 2020 season. The wicketkeeper-batter had stepped down mid-way through the edition, with Eoin Morgan succeeding him in the leadership role.
“It will take some time for him for this little bit of a transition. It's a very weird phase, I've gone through it as well when I was the captain of KKR, and when you come back for the next game I wasn't the captain. So it's a very tricky phase.. (it's tough) what you want to say to the players and what you don't want to… You want the current captain to lead the ship the way he wants to,” said Karthik.
“It will happen automatically. There are all pretty grown-up individuals who can take decisions on their own. He wouldn't want to be on the players' face, or giving advice which he feels would not be taken at this point. He has led the team for 5-6 years rather well, he has had his say, and now he's moved on hoping the next captain would be able to do what he wants to do his way.”