Former West Indies captain Brian Lara said he was in “shock” at the sudden announcement by Virat Kohli that he will be relinquishing his T20I captaincy position after the T20 World Cup in October-November in Oman and the UAE. Kohli, however, wants to continue as the ODI and Test captain.
Kohli took over the white-ball captaincy from MS Dhoni in 2017. So far he has led India in 45 T20Is, winning 29 of them, including two super over victories against New Zealand.
Under Kohli, India registered T20I series wins in England, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, among other countries, for which he earned rich praises from Brian Lara.
“I was in shock because I think he’s (Kohli) done a tremendous job, played against all the big countries — South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia — beating all of them, and for me he has done a tremendous job,” Brian Lara said during a video interaction with cricket.com
Rohit Sharma, the current white-ball vice-captain, is likely to be the next T20I skipper. He has already captained India in 19 T20I, winning 15 of them, whenever Kohli was rested.
Sometimes it might sometimes be good to take a step away: Brian Lara
Brian Lara further added that this decision by Kohli will offload some pressure from his shoulders and he can concentrate more on his individual batting – which has been in a dip especially in Test cricket – and captaincy in other formats.
Kohli had cited the “immense workload” as a captain and batsman in all three formats as the key reason for this decision. This means he will be leading India in his first and last T20 World Cup.
“This is actually his first (T20) World Cup as a captain so this will end his career as a captain after that. It’s a big shock. But the kind of intensity that he plays with, I feel that sometimes it might sometimes be good to take a step away, concentrate may be on another format of the game,” the 52-year-old former batsman added.
Before the World Cup, Kohli will captain the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the remainder of IPL 2021, which starts on Sunday in the UAE.