Atul Wassan file photo | Screengrab.
Atul Wassan file photo | Screengrab.

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Atul Wassan on Sunday said Team India’s debacle in the T20 World Cup, 2021, had put Virat Kohli under a lot of pressure. Virat Kohli on Saturday stepped down as India’s Test captain after leading the side for seven years.

Atul Wassan on Sunday said that he was shocked by Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as skipper of India’s Test team. Atul Wassan said that the star batsman was under pressure. India made an early exit from the group stage in the 2021 T20I World Cup in UAE which was eventually won by Australia.
Atul Wassan | Twitter
Atul Wassan | Twitter

Atul Wassan: There Was Pressure On Virat Kohli After India’s Debacle At 2021 T20I World Cup

The resignation comes on the back of exchanges between him and the BCCI. The exchange started with his T20I resignation before the 2021 World Cup. In December 2021, the BCCI then stripped Virat Kohli of the ODI captaincy, naming Rohit Sharma as the new leader.

“Nothing shocks me. What shocked me was Mahendra Singh Dhoni quitting Test captaincy in the middle of the series in Australia. I think the way things have been going by the last couple of months India’s debacle in the T20 WC there was pressure on him. He is not getting runs. At times he is pointing fingers at other players and as a captain, he must do that to egg them on and I totally support him for that but the problem was that earlier he was leading by example but lately, the thing is that his batsmanship has come down,” Atul Wassan said.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

“Every batsman, every player goes through that and it could accentuate that he was captaining all three formats. He also started the conundrum when he said he doesn’t want to do T20 captaincy which was the right decision but I think the board actually took it in a skewed manner and he never expected that he would lose his 50 over captaincy because his goal was to win the World Cup. This is what was missing from his cupboard,” he added.

Virat Kohli on Saturday shocked the cricket fraternity by deciding to step down from the Test captaincy following the conclusion of the three-match Test series against South Africa. The 33-year-old ended his reign by losing the three-match Test series 1-2.

Virat Kohli has been one of India’s most successful white-ball captains. In 95 ODIs, he won 65, giving him a winning percentage of 70-plus. In 45 T20Is, he led India to victory 27 times. The disappointment of not being able to win a Test series in South Africa in two attempts (2017-18 and 2021-22) as captain and the personal form of not being able to score a Test hundred in 2 years may have cluttered his mind for long and made him take this decision.

Atul Wassan: The Things Would Have Been Different If India Won The Test Series Against South Africa

Atul Wassan further said that the scenario would have been different if Team India would have won the Test series in South Africa.

“Things change quickly in world cricket and when you are on a razor’s edge you have to perform and that is why I have said Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have to pull their weight and that is What Kohli must be thinking. He has won the World Cup already but as a captain, it would have been cherry on the top and that is what he wanted,” said Atul Wassan.

“But looking at things he must have thought that I have to start the WTC cycle again. He could not win a Test series in South Africa. Probably he could have won in South Africa then things could have been different,” he added.

Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP
Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP

Virat Kohli has been the most successful Test captain India has ever produced. After taking over the reins from MS Dhoni, he has led India in 68 Test matches and secured 40 wins at a win percentage of 58.82. As Test captain, he registered his first series win against Sri Lanka in 2015, a victory that India registered in the Emerald Island after 22 years of hiatus.

Under his leadership, Team India also scripted history as they registered their first Test series win in Australia in 2018, clinched series in the West Indies, attained the No.1 spot in Test rankings, and later in the subsequent years marched into the maiden ICC World Test Championship Final in 2021. Virat Kohli also holds the impeccable record of winning 24 out of the 31 Tests played at home as captain, having lost only two Tests.