Former England spin bowler Monty Panesar said that Indian skipper Virat Kohli made a big mistake by announcing his decision to quit the captaincy before the T20 World Cup.
In September, just a week after India’s T20 World Cup squad was revealed, Kohli had announced that he would step down from India’s T20I captaincy after the completion of the showpiece event.
India started their T20 World Cup campaign on a poor note with two straight losses to Pakistan, and New Zealand in Group 2 faltered their chances to qualify for the semi-finals.
Virat Kohli made a big mistake: Monty Panesar
Panesar said things would have been different had Kohli not announced his decision regarding captaincy before the tournament.
“I don’t want to blame Virat here. There are some players who were thinking that they want to replace Virat as the next captain. They want to be the next India captain. Virat made a big mistake announcing the decision ahead of the tournament that he will be giving up his T20I captaincy after the World Cup,” Panesar told TimesofIndia.com.
“He should have played the tournament and then at the end of the tournament, whatever India’s result was, announced that – I am quitting T20I captaincy. Things would have been different today if Virat had done this,” he added.
Virat Kohli should have kept his cool: Monty Panesar
India’s major reason in those defeats was their dismal batting performance in both games.
Losing the toss on both occasions, didn’t do any good to the men in Blue, and top-order collapse got middle-order under pressure, coming back never became easy from such tight situations, especially against New Zealand, where India registered only 110.
Panesar said that many players assumed themselves as the next captain of India in T20I format, and hence they couldn’t perform according to their potential.
“By announcing this beforehand, (the likes of) Rohit, Rishabh, and KL must be thinking of themselves as the next T20I captain. There won’t be any focus on the game then. Rather than focusing on the game, they must be thinking about the captaincy,” Panesar mentioned.
“So, Virat shouldn’t have announced this because there are too many leaders in this team. He should have kept his cool, played the tournament, and then said ‘I am going to hang up my T20I captaincy boots now’,” he added.
India clawed its way back in the T20 World Cup with two successive wins against Afghanistan and Scotland to keep their chances of qualifying in the semis alive.