In what could be the biggest news of the year, Virat Kohli is not keen to keep the limited-overs captaincy any further than the upcoming T20 World Cup in UAE. Kohli had taken over the leadership in 2017 when MS Dhoni decided to step down from the role but an ICC Trophy has eluded the Delhite. While under Kohli, India have become a triumphant force in the longest version of the game, the same is not true for the limited-overs side which faltered in the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup.
According to TOI, Kohli is likely to step down as the white-ball (ODI & T20Is) captain after the T20 World Cup in October-November, handing over the responsibilities to five-time IPL-winning captain Rohit Sharma. It has emerged that the Indian skipper has had discussions with Sharma and the team management after the Australia tour earlier this year. However, Kohli will continue leading India in Tests.
“Virat himself will make the announcement. He is of the view that he needs to concentrate on his batting and go back to becoming what he’s always been — the best batsman in the world,” sources said.
“It will wrap up a historic Test cycle from an India perspective. Virat is also the first to realize that his overall responsibilities as captain across formats are taking a toll on his batting. He needs that space and freshness because he has a lot more to offer. If Rohit takes over as white-ball captain, Virat can continue leading India’s red-ball aspirations and work on his T20 and One-day batting. He’s just 32 and given his fitness, he will easily play top cricket for another five to six years at least,” say those in the know.
Speaking on the decision to rope in MS Dhoni for the T20 World Cup as a mentor, the official said it has nothing to do with captaincy change. “MS has come as mentor because his mere presence in the dugout will help the team strategize better. When you have such resources at your disposal, why not use them at the opportune moment,” BCCI sources told TOI.