Former India pacer Atul Wassan believes that Virat Kohli was feeling the heat as he decided to step down from Test captaincy last week. Wassan said that things were different before when he used to set the example with the bat but his batting slump forced him to think about his captaincy role.
Quite a few things have happened for Virat Kohli as he first left RCB’s captaincy in IPL post the 2021 season then he left India’s T20I captaincy too after the T20 World Cup. Then right before the South Africa tour, he was sacked from the ODI captaincy. Then after a 1-2 loss in 3-match series against South Africa, he resigned from Test captaincy as well.
Discussing his tenure, Wassan said that he’s not surprised with the call as it has coincided with his batting slump.
“Nothing shocks me. What shocked me was MS 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,” Wassan told ANI.
Kohli captained India in 68 Test matches with 40 wins and 17 losses. He never lost a home test series as captain. However, he has struggled with the bat as he hasn’t scored an international hundred since November 2019. In the last 12 months, he scored 647 runs in 21 innings with an average of 30.66 which included 5 fifties.
“Virat Kohli never expected that he would lose his 50-over captaincy because his goal was to win the World Cup”
“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 his batsmanship has come down,” Wassan added.
“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 was what was missing from his cupboard,” he said.
The first ODI against South Africa at Paarl has been the first game for Virat Kohi as non-captain for India since October 2016.