Ricky Ponting has revealed that Virat Kohli had talked with him regarding quitting the white-ball captaincy during the first phase of IPL 2021. Ponting further added that Kohli relinquishing Test captaincy was surprising as he wished to continue leading the national side in the red-ball format.
India suffered a harrowing 1-2 defeat against South Africa in the three-match Test series, and the loss also ruled out their chances of winning the first Test series in the rainbow nation. A day after the series loss against the Proteas, Virat Kohli shocked the entire cricket fraternity by announcing his decision to step down as India Test captain.
Earlier, after the T20 World Cup 2021, Kohli had relinquished the T20I captaincy, and later the 333-year-old was sacked from the ODI leadership as the selectors preferred a single captain for the white-ball format. Rohit Sharma was appointed as India white-ball captain, and the opening batsman is likely to succeed Kohli as skipper in the longest format of the game.
Meanwhile, Ricky Ponting has made a shocking revelation recently saying that, he had a conversation with Virat Kohli during the first leg of the IPL, and the 33-year-old had talked about quitting the white-ball captaincy. The former Australian captain further added Kohli's decision to quit the Test leadership came as a surpeise, as the latter was passionate about leading the national side in red-ball format.
“Yes, it did actually (surprise me). Probably the main reason why is I had a chat and good catch-up with Virat during the first part of the IPL (2021) before it got postponed,” Ponting said on the first episode of The ICC Review.
"He was talking then about stepping away (from captaincy) from white-ball cricket and how passionate he was to continue on to be Test match captain. He just loved and cherished that job and that post so much. Obviously, the Indian Test team had achieved a lot under his leadership. When I heard it, I was really, really surprised.
"You only have to watch him on the field for an hour of the day's play to realise how passionate he is about that job and the role, and how much he wants the team to win and how much he wants the best for Indian cricket," he added.
There have also been speculations that Kohli quit the Test captaincy due to the rift between him and the BCCI. Ponting said that Kohli's decision to quit the Test captaincy was shocking, but it is difficult to be an Indian skipper as there is too much pressure.
"I was shocked, but then I started thinking about other things, even my own time as captain. I have gone on record and said that I probably think I played a couple of years longer than I should have in hindsight. I think I might have been captain for a couple of years longer than I should have.
"So I think there is potentially a shelf-life for international cricket captains and even coaches. Virat's been there for close to seven years now. If there's a country in the world that's the most difficult to captain, it’s probably India because of just how popular the game is and how much every single Indian loves to see the fortunes of the Indian cricket team, whether they are good or bad. You weigh all those things up,” Ponting said.