T20 World Cup | Don’t think it matters to Virat Kohli whether he lifts trophy as a captain or player, says Uthappa

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Robin Uthappa believes that Kohli wants to win the World Cup as either a player or a captain

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T20 World Cup | Don’t think it matters to Virat Kohli whether he lifts trophy as a captain or player, says Uthappa

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SportsCafe Desk

10/23/2021

Robin Uthappa is of the opinion that it doesn’t matter to current India Captain Virat Kohli whether he wins the World Cup as a captain or as a player. Uthappa further added that Virat Kohli has matured a lot as a captain and has been exceptional over the years, especially in Test cricket.

Virat Kohli announced his decision to step down from his captaincy in the T20Is after the conclusion of T20 World Cup 2021 and there has been a lot of discussion about it since then. This will be his last T20I tournament as a captain, but he will keep playing as a specialist batsman for the team. Kohli hasn’t been successful in ICC events. The last ICC trophy India won was the 2013 Champions Trophy where MS Dhoni captained the team to glory. India have won 27 out of 45 T20Is they played under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. 

With this tournament being the last T20I competition for Kohli as a captain, many want Team India to win the T20 World Cup 2021 as a tribute to the 32-year-old. Sharing his thoughts on the same, Robin Uthappa believes that winning the trophy is important for Kohli and it does not matter to him whether he wins it as a captain or a player. He also praised Kohli’s captaincy saying he has matured a lot during his captaincy captaincy. 

"What has more value is as a player he still has a long way to go. Knowing Virat, I don't think it matters to him whether he wins as a captain or as a player. He just wants to win a World Cup and I think that's more important. That mindset we should shift in our heads, yes the desire is there. He's been an exceptional captain and grown a lot as time has gone. He's matured a lot into his captaincy and has been exceptional over the last couple of years, especially in Test cricket," Uthappa said on India Today's Salaam Cricket 2021.

India will need their most talented batsman to score runs in the tournament. Kohli has managed to score 405 runs in 15 fixtures in the recently-concluded IPL 2021. The Delhi-born cricketer scored three half-centuries in the season. Uthappa downplayed talks around Virat Kohli form and said the the right-hander has performed consistently in international cricket. 

"The intent and the desire to go out there and do well for the country will always be there. Even as far as his batting is concerned, I think he's aware that he hasn't scored as consistently as he has set the standard for himself. The benchmark that he's set for himself is so high that he's not lived up to that same standard. But he's not been bad, not been out of sorts at any point. He's still been really good for international level cricket. Just think that he'll go back to the basics and I don't think he's worried about the runs, he's worried about what he can give to the team,” he opined. 

Virat Kohli has already announced that he will be batting at No. 3 in the T20 World Cup 2021. The opening pair of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma is looking in fine touch as both of them performed well in the warm-up fixtures. Speaking on Kohli's role in India's batting unit, Uthappa said that he should play the anchor role for the team. 

"My thinking is, if he plays the anchor's role and everybody bats around him and if he bats till 20 overs, his scores will take care of itself and India's total will be big anyway. And if it comes to the chase, he's the master of it so he'll do it," he remarked. 

India will give their best to win the second T20 World Cup. The team has won two practice matches against Australia and England and will be looking forward to starting the tournament on a winning note when they meet Pakistan on Sunday. 

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