Unfair to be harsh because 'you haven't looked at Virat': Pietersen 'not surprised' with Kohli quitting Test captaincy

  • Former England captain Kevin Pietersen spoke in detail about Virat Kohli stepping down as India's Test captain.
Virat Kohli (L) quit captaincy in Tests last week.(AP/BCCI)
Virat Kohli (L) quit captaincy in Tests last week.(AP/BCCI)
Updated on Jan 21, 2022 11:50 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Virat Kohli sent shock waves across the cricket fraternity when he decided to step down from captaincy in Tests last week. The 33-year-old's announcement brought an abrupt end to a stellar captaincy career that spanned over seven years, as India achieved glorious highs under Kohli. However, his stint as skipper ended in disappointment, with Kohli stepping down merely a day after India's 1-2 series loss to South Africa.

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While the announcement reignited the controversial Indian captaincy saga that brought forth significant miscommunication between the BCCI and Kohli, former England captain Kevin Pietersen cited another reason for the batter's decision to step down as Test captain. Pietersen, who is currently taking part in the Legends League Cricket, said that it is “difficult” for players like Virat Kohli to perform at “the best of his abilities” in bio-bubble environments.

"People who are critical of the modern-day sportsmen I think are foolish because these bio-bubbles are very hard to play in," Pietersen told PTI.

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"It will be very unfair to be too harsh, to be critical. Because you have not looked at Virat Kohli. Kohli needs crowds, he gets going (from it), he is an entertainer.

"I think it's very difficult for his personality to perform to the best of his (Kohli's) abilities (in the bubble).

"A lot of players have suffered. It is the greatest job in the world. But when you put them in a bubble, it's certainly not the greatest job because there is no fun," the 41-year-old said.

The former England batter further said that he is “not surprised” with Kohli relinquishing his position as Test captain, insisting that it is difficult to play in such bio-bubbles and a leadership role adds to the pressure.

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"I'm actually not surprised that Virat wants just a little bit of a break from that extra pressure because it's damn difficult playing in these bubbles," Pietersen said.

"It's very difficult to judge all International sportsmen, be it premier league footballers or any sportsman around the world, playing in a pandemic."

"As a batter, I feed on the energy of players, and there are a lot of these players, be it in football, rugby or tennis."

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