Virat Kohli steps down as India’s T20I captain: A timely decision?

Virat Kohli has sensationally decided to quit as the captain of the Indian T20 team much to the annoyance and surprise of BCCI. A simple message on social media revealed Kohli’s decision, which is understood to have been taken on his own and without any pressure from the cricketing body. He will step down after the T20 World Cup 2021, which will be held in the UAE from October.

Incredibly, Kohli has blamed a hectic schedule and a lack of time to focus on his batting as the reasons for quitting the captain’s position. The statements are quite surprising considering that Kohli has only featured in less than 100 T20 matches in the last 10 years. Most of the taxing effort from Kohli goes towards meeting the requirements of the IPL, where about 15+ matches are played within just two months.

BCCI may be against split captaincy

It is safe to say that BCCI have not been reacting positively to the news. In fact, BCCI are also believed to be keen on taking Kohli out of the limelight from the ODI captaincy as well. It is no secret that Kohli wants to match and surpass the record of 100 centuries held by Sachin Tendulkar. After having hit 44 centuries in one-day internationals, Kohli is very much on course to break in this world record and etching his name in the history of the game.

The decision by the 32-year-old has left BCCI in a situation to make a decision regarding the captaincy for the test and ODIs. Since India plays very few T20 matches in a year, the team may end up suffering from multiple captains on-board – one leading the T20 games and the other leading the test and ODIs. This may not be the approach that BCCI would like to take. Kohli may end up losing his captaincy in all forms of the game largely due to this fact.

Impact on the Kohli brand

Kohli’s brand may have taken a hit due to the captaincy, which has not enjoyed unanimous support unlike his predecessor MSD. Even though Kohli has always spoken out in support of his players, the story within the dressing room does not appear to be unanimously in favour of Kohli. Some players do feel a communication gap while some players are quite happy with the 32-year-old’s handling of the junior players when they are not at their best.

One can certainly expect the Kohli story to unravel more in the forthcoming weeks.