Virat Kohli to step down as India's T20I captain after T20 World Cup in UAE, Oman
- Kohli said he has had lengthy discussions with head coach Ravi Shastri and white-ball skipper Rohit before coming to the conclusion that he needs to concentrate more on ODI and Test cricket both as a batsman and as captain to take the team to new heights.
Virat Kohli will step down as India's T20I captain after the ICC T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman in October-November. The Indian captain took to social media to confirm the developments on Thursday.
Kohli said he has had lengthy discussions with head coach Ravi Shastri and white-ball skipper Rohit before coming to the conclusion that he needs to concentrate more on ODI and Test cricket both as a batsman and as captain to take the team to new heights.
“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,” Kohli said in a lengthy Instagram and Twitter post.
Kohli, however, confirmed that he will continue to be a part of India's T20I team as a player.
“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 added.
‘I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the India in Tests, ODIs’: Kohli
Kohli said his ‘immense workload in the last 8-9 years’ as a player and about 5-6 years as a captain made him feel that he needs ‘space’ to lead the Indian side well in ODIs and Test cricket.
"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 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 time as T20 Captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 Team as a batsman moving forward," he added.
Kohli, who first took over as India's Test captain midway in the Australia tour after MS Dhoni stood down in 2014-15, thanked his team members, support staff and fans for being by his side.
"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," Kohli said in a statement.
Kohli was named as India's all-format captain in 2017 when Dhoni decided to quit as the limited-overs captain. Kohli's first major assignment as captain was the Champions Trophy in 2017 where India lost to Pakistan in the final.
“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,” Kohli said.
The upcoming T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman, where India will begin their campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai, will be Kohli's first and last assignment as an India captain in T20 World Cup.