Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan reckons that split captaincy with Virat Kohli stepping down as India’s T20 captain will not work for a long time and that Kohli should have held on to the captaincy. However, endorsing, Rohit Sharma as the next captain, Pathan told CNN News18 that he will make a ‘great’ T20 captain. Kohli on Thursday announced he will step down as India’s T20 skipper after the T20 World Cup in UAE but will continue to lead the side in ODIs and Test cricket, a decision that paves the way for Rohit Sharma to captain in the shortest format.
“I’ve decided to step down as the T20 captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October,” the 32-year-old Kohli, who is here to compete in the IPL that resumes on Sunday, said in a statement posted on his Twitter page. “Understanding workload is a very important thing and considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all three formats and captaining regularly for last five to six years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead Indian team in Test and ODI cricket,” Kohli explained.
For some time, there has been speculation surrounding Kohli’s future as white-ball captain especially in the backdrop of Rohit’s brilliant track record of winning five IPL titles for Mumbai Indians. The 34-year-old Rohit is Kohli’s deputy in the white-ball formats and is most likely to take up the leadership role when India clashes with New Zealand in a home series in November that will feature three T20 Internationals along with two Test matches. BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, in a statement issued by the Board after Kohli’s announcement, said the body has been in discussion with Kohli for a while now.
(With PTI inputs)