Virat Kohli to step down as India T20 captain after World Cup in UAE

Star batsman wants to concentrate on leading the Test and ODI teams

India's captain Virat Kohli celebrates after win at the end of the fifth and final Twenty20 international cricket match against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera on March 20, 2021. IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE
 / AFP / Jewel SAMAD / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE

Virat Kohli on Thursday signaled a change in the leadership landscape of Indian cricket after announcing that he will step down as the national team's T20 captain after the conclusion of T20 World Cup in the UAE.

The T20 World Cup, which begins on October 17 and concludes on November 14 in Dubai, will be his last assignment as captain in the format for the national team. However, Kohli will continue to lead the Test and ODI teams.

Announcing his decision on social media, Kohli said his "immense workload" has made it difficult for him to lead the side effectively in all three formats.

"Considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all three formats and captaining regularly for 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," Kohli wrote on Twitter.

"After a lot of contemplation and discussion with my close people, Ravi (Shatrsi, coach) bhai and also Rohit (Sharma), who have been an essential part of the leadership group, I have decided to step down as T20 captain after the T20 World Cup in Dubai in October."

Kohli said he will still be available for the T20 team as a batsman.

Rohit is expected to take over as T20 captain, and possibly as ODI skipper in the future, given his stellar track record in the IPL - captaining the Mumbai Indians to five titles - and wins in multi-nation tournaments like the Asia Cup in UAE and Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka in 2018.

Kohli's failure to win any major title has been a cause for concern and the Indian cricket board is hoping to fix that problem by bringing in Mahendra Singh Dhoni as mentor for the T20 World Cup.

Dhoni, who has retired from international cricket, is the only captain to have won every major trophy in the game.

Updated: September 16th 2021, 1:07 PM
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