As he chases an elusive first major championship at the World Cup, Virat Kohli will be hoping for a fairytale conclusion to his leadership of India’s Twenty20 side. Kohli, 32, will step down as T20 captain following the start of the 16-nation competition in the United Arab Emirates and Oman on Sunday.

The prodigious run-scorer has also stepped down as captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, and many have applauded his choice to focus more on his batting.

As the wait for victory grew in recent months, Kohli became the subject of increasing suspicion. Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes Kohli will be able to go into the World Cup, which begins on October 24, with minimal pressure, which will be beneficial to the squad.

“I believe he will enjoy his cricket more now that he has made this decision,” Pathan, who was instrumental in India’s first T20 World Cup victory in 2007, told AFP.

“With the side, the confidence, and the experience they have, India will do well.”

Kohli took over as captain in all formats after MS Dhoni stepped down as limited-overs captain in 2017. Since then, India has failed to win a World Cup or a Champions Trophy.

Kohli will still have Dhoni by his side as the team mentor for the tournament. Dhoni led India to the T20 title in 2007 and the 50-over title in 2011. When Dhoni’s squad won the maiden world T20 title in Johannesburg, Kohli was on his way to making his India debut.

Rohit Sharma, the swashbuckling opener, is largely expected to succeed Kohli as T20 skipper and will be crucial to the team’s success. The top order batting spearhead will be completed by KL Rahul and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, while Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah will lead the pace assault.