Virat Kohli to step down from T20I captaincy after 2021 World Cup

Virat Kohli’s final event as India’s T20I captain will be the forthcoming T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. Kohli said that he will step down as captain to focus on ODIs and Tests.

He revealed his decision on Twitter, claiming that he made it in consideration of his workload as a three-format player and that he had already discussed it with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah, and the selectors. After “a lot of reflection and consultations with my close people,” including India head coach Ravi Shastri and white-ball vice-captain Rohit Sharma, who has already led India in 19 T20Is while Kohli has been rested, he made his decision.

Kohli, who took over as captain from Mahendra Singh Dhoni in January 2017, has a victory percentage of 67.4 percent in 45 T20Is, winning 29 and losing 14. “Understanding workload is really essential and given my huge workload over the previous 8-9 years playing all three formats and captaining frequently for the last 5-6 years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian Team in Test and ODI Cricket.”, Kohli stated.

“During my time as T20 Captain, I gave my all for the team, and I will continue to do so as a batsman for the T20 Team moving ahead.”

The news comes only eight days after Kohli met with selectors to finalise India’s roster for the T20 World Cup, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in October and November.

Kohli would have been well aware of the mounting criticism of his captaincy from the outside, with several experts, notably former India opener Gautam Gambhir, arguing that India should adopt a divided captaincy system. Kohli was not a “bad” T20 captain, according to Gambhir, who contrasted his failure to win an IPL title during his extended tenure as captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore with Rohit’s great record with Mumbai.