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Virat Kohli to Step Down as India T20 Captain After 2021 World Cup

Ace batter Virat Kohli will continue to captain the Indian men's team in ODIs and Test cricket.

Updated
Cricket
4 min read
Virat Kohli at a training session on the eve of the first T20I against England. 
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Virat Kohli will step down as captain of the Indian men's T20 team after the 2021 T20 World Cup which will be held in UAE and Oman. Kohli, who will captain Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, took to social media to announce his decision on 16 September.

The Kohli led Indian team will be looking for their second men's T20 World Cup title after having won the inaugural one in 2007. India will go to the World Cup with former captain MS Dhoni as a mentor as well. India's vice-captain for the T20 World Cup will be Rohit Sharma.

The T20 World Cup begins on 17 October in Oman with the qualifiers. India will play the first match against Pakistan on 24 October in Dubai.

Kohli will however continue to lead India in Tests and ODIs.

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It is largely expected that Rohit is the likely to take over from Kohli.

Kohli has scored 3,159 runs in 90 T20I appearances for India. He was named player of the tournament in the 2016 edition of the T20 World Cup under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.

Kohli made his T20I captaincy debut in the three-match T20I series against England in 2017, thereby becoming the captain of India in all formats. In 45 T20Is, Kohli led India to 27 wins and 14 losses with two matches tied and two matches yielding no result, becoming India's second most successful skipper in the format after MS Dhoni.

Kohli also became the first India captain to register T20I bilateral series wins in South Africa (2-1) and England (2-1) in 2018 followed by New Zealand (5-0) and Australia (2-1) in 2020.

Overall, Kohli is eighth on the list of captains with most matches in T20Is. Incidentally, the most successful captain in the format is Afghanistan’s Asghar Afghan with 42 wins in 52 matches. Virat Kohli’s win percentage of 65.11 is rivaled only by Afghan (81.73) in the format.

“I have been fortunate enough to not only represent India but also lead the Indian Cricket Team to my utmost capability. I thank everyone who has supported me in my journey as the Captain of the Indian Cricket Team. I couldn't have done it without them - the boys, the support staff, the selection committee, my coaches and each and every Indian who prayed for us to win.

“Understanding workload is a very important thing and considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all 3 formats and captaining regularly for the last 5-6 years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian Team in Test and ODI cricket. I have given everything to the Team during my team as T20 Captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 Team as a batsman moving forward.

“Of course arriving at this decision took a lot of time. After a lot of contemplation and discussion with my close people, Ravi bhai and also Rohit, who have been an essential part of the leadership group, I have decided to step down as the T20 captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October. I have also spoken to the BCCI secretary Jay Shah and president Sourav Ganguly along with all the selectors at the same time. I will continue to serve Indian cricket team and the Indian team to the best of ability,” Kohli said in his statement.

“Kohli will continue to be available for selection for the T20 format post the upcoming ICC event in 2021, which is hosted by the BCCI in UAE and Oman.

"We have a clear roadmap for Team India. Considering the workloads and ensuring that we have smooth transition, Mr Virat Kohli has decided to step down as T20I Captain after the upcoming World Cup. I have been in discussions with Virat and the leadership team for the last six months and the decision has been thought through. Virat will continue to contribute as a player and as a senior member of the side in shaping the future course of Indian cricket,” BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

"Virat has been a true asset for Indian Cricket and has led with aplomb. He is one of the most successful captains in all the formats. The decision has been made keeping in mind the future roadmap. We thank Virat for his tremendous performance as the T20I Captain. We wish him all the best for the upcoming World Cup and beyond and hope that he continues to score plenty of runs for India,” BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly said.

Earlier in the week, BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal rubbished reports suggesting that Team India captain Virat Kohli is likely to step down as skipper of the limited-overs format after the ICC T20 World Cup.

"This is all rubbish. Nothing (as) such is happening. This is all what you guys (media) are talking about. BCCI has not met or discussed anything on this issue (split captaincy)," Dhumal told IANS. "Virat will remain as the captain (of all formats)."

After 2021, the next men's T20 World Cup will be in Australia in 2022.

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