Cricket / I was surprised: Ganguly on Kohli's decision to quit T20I captaincy

Zoom News : Oct 23, 2021, 09:39 PM
Cricket Desk: Former Indian skipper and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has said he was taken aback by Virat Kohli's decision to relinquish leadership duties from the shortest format of the game.

Last month, Kohli dropped a bombshell when he announced that he would no longer captain the Indian team in the shortest format after the T20 World Cup. Kohli cited the immense workload and the desire to focus on Test and ODI captaincy as the reasons behind his decision.

Speaking on Salaam Cricket, Ganguly clarified there was no pressure from the BCCI on Virat Kohli to give up the captaincy. He also sympathized with the 32-year-old, stating that it's difficult to captain in all three formats for such a long period. Ganguly said:

"I was surprised (that Virat Kohli decided to step down as T20 captain). This decision must have been taken only after the England tour and it is his decision. There was no pressure from our end, we didn't tell him anything. We don't do things like this because I have been a player so I understand. It is very difficult to be a captain in all formats for this long,"

Ganguly added:

"I was a captain for six years, it looks good from the outside, there is respect and all that. But you get burnt out on the inside and it happens to any captain. Not just to Tendulkar or Ganguly or Dhoni or Kohli but to the captain that will come up next as well. It is a tough job."

Virat Kohli also announced that he will be stepping down as RCB skipper following the end of the 14th season of the IPL. The champion cricketer ended his IPL captaincy career without a title as the Bengaluru-based franchise were knocked out in the playoffs.

"He is human not a machine" - Sourav Ganguly on Virat Kohli

Kohli has endured a lean patch by his very high standards in the past 12-15 months. However, according to Ganguly, it doesn't come as a surprise as he believes every player who plays for an extended period of time, like Virat, is bound to go through a lean patch. Ganguly added:

"This happens (dip in Kohli's form). Virat has been playing for about 11 years, not every season can be great. He is human not a machine. So I am not surprised. His graph has gone up so high, then it came down, then it went even higher and that is when you see a player like Virat. If you play for a long time this sort of up and down will happen."

Team India and their fans will hope Virat Kohli turns the clock back to the past two editions of the T20 World Cup when he takes guard against Pakistan on October 24.