Virat Kohli quit the Indian Test captaincy earlier this month after the Indian team’s 1-2 loss to South Africa in the three-match Test series. Though his record shows that he is the most successful Indian captain ever with 40 wins in 68 Tests captained; questions were still raised as to how the 33-year-old will contribute to the leadership group as a player.
Last year, the 33-year-old had also stepped down as T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI leader after the selectors wanted one leader for white-ball formats. With Rohit Sharma taking over in the white-ball formats, Virat Kohli said that one doesn’t need to be a captain to contribute to the team’s progress and one can be a leader without being a captain.
“See, I think firstly you need to have a complete understanding of what you set out to achieve and whether you have achieved those targets or not.
“Everything has a tenure and time period, so you have to be aware of it. As a batter, you might be able to give more to the team, so take pride in that,” said Kohli on an episode of ‘Fireside Chat with VK’.
“You do not need to be a captain to be the leader. When MS Dhoni was in the team, it was not like he was not the leader, he was still the guy from whom we wanted to have inputs.
“To win or not win is not in your hands, the striving for excellence and to be better every day, is not something you can do short term. When it comes to a culture, it will last beyond your playing years and your responsibility,” he added.
Moving On Is Also A Part Of Leadership: Virat Kohli
This will be the first time in seven long years that Virat Kohli will be contributing to the team as a player instead of being the captain of the team in any of the international formats. He also recalled how he played under the captaincy of MS Dhoni and that he always thought of as a captain.
Further talking about his viewpoint, Kohli said: “To add to that, moving on is also a part of leadership, to understand the right time to do that. I think one has to embrace all kinds of roles and opportunities.
“I have played under MS Dhoni for a while and then I became the captain, my mindset has been the same all this while. I always thought like a captain when I was just a player in the team.”
Away from home, Kohli’s India won 16 out of 36 matches, with an impressive win percentage of 44.44, the highest for an Indian or Asian captain who has led their team in at least 10 matches. India lost just five of the 24 series under his captaincy.
“I think, it is very important to be aware of what you think about yourself. At the end of the day, if you have more responsibility, you know you can have a different vision so you need to stay true to yourself. If I know my game is not where it should be, then I do not need someone to push me, I am myself aware of it,” said Kohli.
India will now clash with West Indies in a series of three ODIs, which will be played in Ahmedabad from February 6th, and three T20Is, which will be played in Kolkata.