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‘Will have to keep his ego aside’, Kapil Dev weighs in on Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as Test captain, says was probably ‘not enjoying’

“He has looked tense in recent times, appeared to be under a lot of pressure. So giving up the captaincy was an option in order to play freely. He opted for that," said Kapil Dev.

Former Indian captain Kapil Dev has welcomed the decision of Virat Kohli to resign from the post of India’s Test captain. Kapil Dev felt that Virat did the right thing by stepping aside, as he didn’t appear to be “enjoying” captaincy anymore. Kapil Dev said that Kohli was indeed looking “tense” in the aftermath of the uproar over his decision to quit the T20I captaincy last year.

Speaking to Mid-day, Kapil Dev, who served as a former coach of the Indian cricket team as well, said on January 16, “I welcome Virat’s decision to quit the Test captaincy. He was going through a rough time ever since he gave up the T20 captaincy. He has looked tense in recent times, appeared to be under a lot of pressure. So giving up the captaincy was an option in order to play freely. He opted for that.”

While he respected Kohli’s decision to step down as India Test captain, the legendary cricketer also shared a piece of advice for Virat Kohli, who holds the record for being the most successful Test captain with 40 wins under his belt.

Citing his own example, Kapil Dev opined that Virat would have to do away with his ego and like a true sportsman, play under his juniors now. “Even Sunil Gavaskar played under me. I played under K Srikkanth and Azharuddin. I had no ego. Virat will have to give up his ego and play under a young cricketer. This will help him and Indian cricket. Virat should guide the new captain, new players. We cannot lose Virat, the batsman…no way,” Kapil said.

In addition, the former World Cup winner stated: “He (Kohli) is a mature man. I am sure he must have thought hard before taking this important decision. Maybe, he wasn’t enjoying the captaincy. We have to support him and wish him luck.”

Kapil Dev criticizes Kohli for post-match comments after defeat versus New Zealand

When India suffered two consecutive losses at the T20 World Cup in the UAE in November last year and the cricket fans in India were indeed shocked and disappointed with Virat Kohli and his team, Kapil Dev had justified the criticism faced by the Indian cricket team and castigated Kohli for demotivating his team with his weak statement.

“For a big player like him, it is a very weak statement. If that is the kind of body language the team has and if that is kind of thought process the captain has, it is really tough to lift the team. I felt a little strange hearing those words. He isn’t that kind of a player,” and added, “He is a fighter. I think he got lost in the moment or something. A captain should not say words like ‘we were not brave enough’. You are playing for your country and he has the passion. But when you say such words, fingers will definitely be pointed,” the legendary spinner had said.

Virat Kohli no longer captain of the Indian cricket team in any format

On Thursday, January 12, Kohli announced his resignation from the post of India’s Test captain. This means that he is no longer captain of the team in any format, having resigned from T20 captain and being replaced as the ODI captain last year. On Saturday, Kohli tweeted a goodbye note to apprise his fans about his decision.

Thanking BCCI, former head coach Ravi Shastri and his predecessor MS Dhoni for their support, Kohli wrote as he stepped down as the Test captain: “I have always believed in giving my 120 per cent in everything I do, and if I can’t do that, I know it’s not the right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team”.

In September last year, Kohli had relinquished T20 captaincy citing workload. Later, in December, BCCI sacked Virat Kohli as ODI captain. The BCCI’s decision to replace Kohli as India’s ODI captain, despite the latter indicating his intention to continue in the role while retiring as T20I captain, sparked a flurry of rumours about his relationship with the board and Ganguly. While Ganguly claimed in a later interview that he had requested Kohli to stay in the T20I captaincy until the 2021 T20 World Cup, Kohli refuted this claim, claiming that no one had asked him to do so.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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