Brian Lara has said that Virat Kohli's decision to step down from India's T20I captaincy shocked him as he had done a tremendous job leading the team in the shortest format. However, Lara also reckoned that the 32-year-old's decision was not just a personal one and will serve Indian cricket well.
Virat Kohli's decision to step down as India's T20I captain post the completion of the T20I World Cup created massive headlines and stalwarts of the game are still reacting to it. The 32-year-old on Thursday ended days of speculation by making the big announcement on his social media handles. The right-hander said that the move will help him reduce his "immense workload" and allow him to focus more on the 50-over and red-ball cricket.
Kohli, India's most successful in the T20Is, won 27 out of the 45 matches he captained the team in the format. Considering his age and recent success as the leader of Team India, the decision shocked many. Kapil Dev on Saturday said that there was no need for Kohli to make the announcement so early.
Now, Brian Lara has also has expressed his shock. However, he added that giving up his thrown in one format might just release his stress a bit.
"I was in shock because I think he's done a tremendous job, played against all the big countries - South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia - beating all of them, and for me he has done a tremendous job," Lata told cricket.com.
"This is actually his first (T20) World Cup as a captain so this will end his career as a captain after that. It's a big shock.
"But the kind of intensity that he plays with, I feel that sometimes it might sometimes be good to take a step away, concentrating on another format of the game. I have had these issues as well when I was playing when a couple of times I stepped down as captain as it became very, very stressful," he added.
Kohli's decision will serve Indian cricket well: Brian Lara
Further, Lara said he is sure that the decision was not just personal and was taken keeping in mind the best interests of Indian cricket.
"I am not in his shoes but I'm sure he made his decision, not just for the personal decision but a decision that serves Indian cricket as well."
Virat Kohli's first major assignment in his final series as the T20I captain will be when his side faces arch-rivals Pakistan in their opener of the T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai on October 24.