Virat Kohli, who has been leading Team India in all three formats, tests, ODIs, and T-20s, since 2017, announced that he will step down as the T-20 captain after the T20 world cup in UAE. The 32-year-old gave ‘workload management’ as the main reason behind his decision. This was a shocking decision for all fans and has left them confused. They want to know who will be the next captain of India in T20 after Virat Kohli’s resignation.
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“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. 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.”
Why Virat Kohli left captaincy of Indian T20 Team?
There were many questions raised behind his reason to leave. Is workload the real reason for stepping down from T20I captaincy? Not just the T20 captaincy of India, few days later Virat Kohli also announced to bid farewell to his tenure as a captain for his IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore after 2021 season. This was even more shocking for the fans as they had not expected Kohli to leave RCB captaincy. Nonetheless, the run machine has decided to step down and continue playing as a pure batsman after the 2021 season. Kohli has now opened up on his decision to leave RCB captaincy and said the workload was the major factor and that he did now want to be dishonest towards his responsibilities.
Who will be the new T20 captain of India ?
The development has evoked mixed responses. But mainly this has left a spot open for the next captain of the Indian team in T20 format.
The most obvious choice for the next captain of Indian T20 team is Rohit Sharma. He is most likely to succeed Virat Kohli as the India’s captain in the shortest format of the game for the next T20 World Cup in 2022. Rohit has been Kohli’s white-ball deputy since 2017.
Rohit is one of the most experienced players in the squad making him the prime contender to helm the team in T20. This is also supported by the fact that Kohli specifically mentioned Rohit in his announcement note, stating that he had discussed his decision with Ravi Shastri and Rohit Sharma. Rohit also has the most glittering record in the IPL in terms of leading the Mumbai Indians to the championship 5 times. He has also captained in various international series and matches in Virat Kohli’s absence. At 34, Rohit can certainly lead India for some time, although the management would certainly like to groom future captain after the 2023 world cup.
After Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, the most senior player in the Indian team is KL Rahul who is a regular starter in all three formats for India. Ever since the 2019 World Cup, Rahul has made a permanent place in the squad, also as a wicketkeeper for the team in limited-overs cricket. He kept the wickets for India in the T20 series against New Zealand at the start of 2020 and also in the recently concluded T20I and ODI series against Australia.
Rahul was appointed as the captain of the Kings XI Punjab in 2020 and is quite calm and composed on the field and backs his players whenever required. His understanding of the game is pretty good and he knows what decisions are to be taken concerning the current situation in the game.
Other than Rahul, one of the leading contenders to lead the Indian team after the 2023 World Cup is Shreyas Iyer. Of all the other Indian players right now, Iyer has the highest level of experience as a captain. He has been leading the Delhi Capitals squad exceptionally well in the last two and a half seasons of the Indian Premier League.
Iyer was appointed the captain of Delhi Capitals mid-way through the 2018 season. The middle-order batsman took on the charge and managed to win 5 games for the team and in the next two years and led the team to two consecutive playoffs and removed the tag of table bottoms from the team’s name. It will be interesting to see if the Indian management will entrust him with the role of a skipper in the future.
Rishabh Pant is surely a candidate as well who is young and has some experience with the leadership having recently led Delhi Capitals to the Playoffs of IPL 2021 after Shreyas Iyer had to leave because of his injury. There are quite a few names that could succeed Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. It would be interesting to see what the Indian management decides for the future of the team in T20.