'Virat will have to give up his ego, play under young cricketer': Kapil Dev | Crickit

'Virat will have to give up his ego, play under young cricketer': Kapil Dev weighs in on Kohli's post-captaincy era

By, New Delhi
Jan 17, 2022 07:11 AM IST

The cricket fraternity including past and present players congratulated the mercurial cricketer on his successful stint as India's Test captain.

Virat Kohli's move to step down from the role of India's Test captain drew accolades from the cricket fraternity. It perhaps was a bittersweet end to Kohli's captaincy sojourn, which saw the Test contingent scale new heights in home and away conditions.

Virat Kohli with teammate KL Rahul (ANI)
Virat Kohli with teammate KL Rahul (ANI)

The 33-year-old Kohli signed off as India's most successful captain in the format, with 40 wins in 68 Test matches. He helped the side to a historic Test series win in Australia and took them to the top of the ICC Test rankings. He also holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68).

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The cricket fraternity including past and present players congratulated the mercurial player on his successful stint, and former India skipper Kapil Dev also welcomed Kohli's move. Kapil said that Kohli wasn't “enjoying” the captaincy and it must have been a tough decision to make. 

The World Cup-winning leader further underlined the captaincy pressure that was clogging up Kohli's ability to play fearless brand of cricket. Kohli ended 2021 with 536 runs at a paltry average of 28.21 from 11 Tests -- numbers that don't quite do justice to his batting prowess and winning pedigree.

“I welcome Virat’s decision to quit the Test captaincy. He was going through a rough time ever since he gave up the T20 captaincy. He has looked tense in recent times, appeared to be under a lot of pressure. So giving up the captaincy was an option in order to play freely. He opted for that,” Kapil told Mid-Day.

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“He is a mature man. I am sure he must have thought hard before taking this important decision. Maybe, he wasn’t enjoying the captaincy. We have to support him and wish him luck,” he added.

In his heydays, Kapil played under the leadership of Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Mohammad Azharuddin and he wants Kohli, the batter, to thrive under the new captain. 

Last month, Kohli was replaced by Rohit Sharma as the ODI captain, which eventually resulted in Kohli's exit from Test responsibility too. It's yet to be seen whether Rohit will lead the Test side for India's next series against Sri Lanka at home.

“Even Sunil Gavaskar played under me. I played under K Srikkanth and Azharuddin. I had no ego. Virat will have to give up his ego and play under a young cricketer. This will help him and Indian cricket. Virat should guide the new captain, new players. We cannot lose Virat, the batsman…no way,” concluded Kapil.

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