The story behind the end of Virat Kohli’s captaincy of white-ball team


Indian skipper Virat Kohli during the fourth day of the 2nd Test match between India and New Zealand, at Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai on Monday. India won by 372 runs. (ANI Photo)

Rohit Sharma was also named as India’s Test vice-captain as the All-India Senior Selection Committee picked an 18-member squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa

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Opening batter Rohit Sharma was on Wednesday named India’s new ODI skipper and the star player will take over from Virat Kohli starting the South Africa series in January next year. “The All-India Senior Selection Committee also decided to name Mr Rohit Sharma as the Captain of the ODI & T20I teams going forward,” BCCI said in a statement.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Thursday said the board and selectors together took the call to appoint Rohit Sharma as the full-time white-ball captain of the side. Ganguly also informed that he and the chairman of selectors had also spoken to Kohli. The former Indian skipper also thanked Kohli for his contributions in the limited-overs format.

“It’s a call that the BCCI and the selectors took together. Actually, the BCCI had requested Virat to not step down as the T20I skipper but obviously, he did not agree. And the selectors then did not feel it right to have two different captains for two white-ball formats,” Ganguly said.

“So, it was decided that Virat will continue as Test captain and Rohit will take over as the white-ball captain. I as President personally spoke to Virat Kohli and the chairman of selectors has also spoken to him.

“We have full faith in Rohit Sharma’s leadership abilities, and Virat will continue as the Test captain. We as BCCI are confident that Indian cricket is in good hands. We thank Virat Kohli for his contributions as captain in the white-ball format,” the BCCI president added.

Rohit was also named as India’s Test vice-captain as the All-India Senior Selection Committee picked an 18-member squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa.

Former India cricketer Atul Wassan feels Virat Kohli has realised that he cannot lead Team India in all three formats.

Rohit Sharma celebrates his half century during the Third T20 International match between India and New Zealand, at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

Wassan reckons it is a good move as the Mumbai Indians’ skipper has proved his mettle in the Indian Premier League (IPL). “I don’t think it is the removal of Virat. Virat himself has consciously realized that he cannot lead all three formats. He was struggling and every player goes through this bad patch. He has set such high standards for himself that even 40s-50s are not counted but he also expects a lot from him,” Wassan said.

“I said many years ago that it is not right for any country, any team that all three formats are led by one guy. Rohit has shown that he is a good leader. He has got IPL crowns but Virat hasn’t. Maybe Virat will also find his second gear and second wind and it augurs well for Indian cricket,” he added.

The former Indian cricketer said captaincy is a burden for a player but Kohli has enjoyed his stint as the skipper of the side.

“I think it comes into the holistic view of it. If you see that in some, we lost big tournaments and in world cup also it is a big issue. Perhaps Virat and Shastri were cornering the authority also So, BCCI probably wants to clip their wings also. This has been happening,” said Wassan.

Former India cricketer Kirti Azad also supported the decision of the All-India Senior Selection Committee of appointing Rohit Sharma as the team skipper for the ODI & T20I teams going forward.

Kirti Azad said, “Well change is constant. This happens Rohit has been doing well and Virat had said that he wanted to be away from the captaincy in limited-overs. So, the right person to get into his place is Rohit Sharma. That’s a call by the selectors. Virat wanted it but selectors thought that Rohit Sharma should come in and that’s about it. I don’t find anything wrong with it.”

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