Indian Cricket Captain Virat Kohli announced on Thursday that he will be stepping down from the captaincy of the T20 team after the T20 World Cup set to be held in UAE and Oman next month. However, he confirmed that he will continue to lead the team in ODI and Test Cricket.
Kohli took to Twitter to make the announcement. He stated that the decision was arrived at with the intention of being able to give himself "space to be fully ready" to lead the Indian team in the 50-over and the longest format of the game.
"Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time. After a lot of contemplation and discussions with my close people, Ravi bhai and also Rohit, who have been an essential part of the leadership group, I've decided to step down as the T20 Captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October," he tweeted.
To Lead Test and ODI Sides
The Delhi batsman has been an indispensable part of the Indian batting lineup for 13 years; since his international ODI debut against Sri Lanka in 2008. Reflecting on the magnitude of his responsibilities over the years, Kohli wrote: "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 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."
However, the 32-year-old cricketer assured his fans that he will carry on contributing to the shortest format of the game as a batsman. "I have given everything to the Team during my time as T20 Captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 Team as a batsman moving forward," he wrote.
In the statement, Kohli also said that he has conveyed his decision to BCCI top brass, and the selectors of the national team. "I have also spoken to the secretary Mr. Jay Shah and the President of BCCI Mr. Sourav Ganguly along with all the selectors about the same. I will continue to serve Indian Cricket and the Indian Team to the best of my ability," wrote Kohli.
Most Successful Indian Test Captain
Before donning the blues of the senior side, Kohli captained the Under-19 team to victory at the 2008 Under-19 Cricket World Cup. He made his international ODI debut against Sri Lanka in 2008. His T20 and test debuts followed in 2010 and 2011 respectively. It was during his initial years in the team that several senior players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, and Rahul Dravid retired, making way for his gradual ascent within the Indian side.
As he began smashing world records at a superhuman pace, the reigns of the test side were handed over to him after Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped down in December 2014. Having ascended to the vice-captaincy of the ODI team in 2012, and stepping in for Dhoni on few occasions, he took over as the full-time limited-overs captain from Dhoni in 2017.
So far, Kohli has led India in 95 ODIs—65 wins and 27 losses. Under his captaincy, in 45 T20Is, India has won 27 games and lost 14. In test cricket, Kohli has led the national side in 65 matches. With 38 wins and 16 losses, he is the most successful Indian test captain.
Thanking his teammates and support staff, Kohli wrote: "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."