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Virat Kohli's decision to step down as RCB captain could be to avoid further criticism, feels Dale Steyn

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Dale Steyn feels captaincy can burden mind and personal life

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Virat Kohli's decision to step down as RCB captain could be to avoid further criticism, feels Dale Steyn

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SportsCafe Desk

09/20/2021

Former South Africa pacer Dale Steyn has said that Virat Kohli might have taken the decision to step down from RCB captaincy to negate the chances of any criticism in store for him in the future. Steyn reckoned that few bad outings could have seen people questioning his RCB captaincy as well.

Days after deciding to quit as India's T20I captain post T20 World Cup 2021, Virat Kohli on Sunday made a massive revelation on the future of his Royal Challengers Banagalore (RCB) captaincy as well. The 32-year-old, in a video posted by RCB, said that franchise's remaining matches of the IPL 2021 season will be his last as a captain. However, Kohli also made it clear that he would be playing for the RCB till the end of his IPL career. 

Talking about Virat kohli's decision, former South Africa and RCB pacer Dale Steyn has reckoned that the decision might have been taken as a precautionary cover from future criticisms. The 38-year-old, who recently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, stated that a couple of bad outings in the second leg of IPL 2021 could have have put Kohli under further pressure. 

“He may be trying to put out or extinguish some fires before they actually happen. Relinquishing the Indian captaincy, if he has 2-3 bad scores in the next couple of games in IPL, people might start questioning him whether he should give up the RCB captaincy. Before that comes into question, he may have decided ‘before we go down that road then you should say this is also part of my thinking’,” Steyn told ESPNcricinfo.

Steyn also believes that his former teammates decision can be a "good one" if that helps him in focussing on his body.  

“He’s been with RCB from the very beginning. I don’t know, as life goes on you start to prioritise things. He’s (Virat) got a young family right now and captaincy can weigh heavily on the brain, and your personal life can also heavily weigh on you.

“Maybe, relinquishing a little bit of that responsibility (captaincy) and just being able to focus on his batting is a good decision at this time of his career,” Steyn said. 

Further, the 38-year-old stated that nobody doubts Kohli’s captaincy, adding that he is a fantastic player and that his decision should be respected. 

“We don’t doubt his captaincy. He is a fantastic leader and his personal achievements speak for themselves. So it’s really up to him as to what he wants to do so. Maybe it’s a good decision as the (T20) World Cup is round the corner. We could see the best of Virtat coming out in the remaining of the IPL (games) and the World Cup,” stated the 38-year-old. 

We have also seen David Beckham leave Manchester United: Steyn 

Virat Kohli in his statement made it clear that RCB is the franchise where he will play his last IPL match but Steyn cited former Manchester United winger David Beckham's example to suggest that these decisons are not up to a player. 

“Doesn’t matter how good a player you are, you could see yourself walking (it’s the franchise owner’s call). I mean I’ve seen Chris Gayle leave the team but he’s not an Indian legend. We have also seen David Beckham leave Man United after playing for an entire lifespan and go and play for other teams. Cristiano Ronaldo recently returned to Man United, so you don’t know…you have these famous people play for club teams for a long time. And, who knows Virat, who is originally from Delhi, might end up finishing with the Delhi franchise.

“But it’s nice to know he has committed himself to the club (RCB) and wants to be there to see the IPL trophy come to them. He has given so many years of effort… I think that could be at the back of his mind, that he is not going to leave there until he wins an IPL trophy," Steyn stated. 

RCB will restart their IPL campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday, September 20 in Abu Dhabi.

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