Former India cricketer Kapil Dev has opined that Virat Kohli gave up his captaincy in order to play freely as he appeared to be under a lot of pressure in recent times. Dev further added that Virat Kohli will have to 'give up his ego' and play under a young cricketer in upcoming tournaments.
India lost the three-match Test series against South Africa by 2-1 recently and Virat Kohli made a shocking exit from his Test captaincy. Kohli already gave up his captaincy in T20Is and was sacked from the leadership role for the ODI series against South Africa. He now stepped down from Test captaincy ending as the most successful Test captain for India.
Kohli has 40 wins as captain in 68 Test matches including a Test series win in Australia and an incredible team performance in England. He has 68 Test appearances which is the most for an Indian Test captain. Kohli was struggling with his batting in recent matches scoring 536 runs at an average of 28.21 in 11 Tests in 2021.
Kapil Dev has opined that giving up the captaincy was an option for Virat Kohli in order to play freely and excel as a batsman.
“I welcome Virat’s decision to quit the Test captaincy. He was going through a rough time ever since he gave up the T20 captaincy. He has looked tense in recent times, appearing to be under a lot of pressure. So giving up the captaincy was an option in order to play freely. He opted for that,” Kapil told Mid-Day.
“He is a mature man. I am sure he must have thought hard before taking this important decision. Maybe, he wasn’t enjoying the captaincy. We have to support him and wish him luck."
BCCI has not announced Kohli's successor yet but one amongst KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma might lead the side. Rohit Sharma was supposed to replace Kohli as captain in the ODI series against South Africa but a hamstring injury has ruled him out and KL Rahul will captain the side. Rahul also captained the team in the Johannesburg Test as Kohli missed the game due to a back spasm.
Citing his own example, Kapil Dev opined that Kohli has to give up his ego and play under a young cricketer.
“Even Sunil Gavaskar played under me. I played under K Srikkanth and Azharuddin. I had no ego. Virat will have to give up his ego and play under a young cricketer. This will help him and Indian cricket. Virat should guide the new captain, new players. We cannot lose Virat, the batsman…no way,” concluded Kapil.