Former Indian cricketer and national selector Dilip Vengsarkar has said that he was "expecting" skipper Virat Kohli to relinquish leadership duties in the shortest format. Vengsarkar cited Kohli's immense workload and the pressure of expectation that comes with being the best batsman in the world and captain of the most followed cricket team as his reasons for the same.
Speaking to the Times of India, Vengsarkar reckoned that Kohli’s timing to quit the T20I captaincy was perfect. He is hopeful that the 32-year-old will leave the post with an ICC title after the upcoming World Cup.
"I was expecting it. He's been leading India and has been the No 1 batsman in all formats for almost eight years. He's been under tremendous pressure to perform, because we expect a lot from him every time he goes into bat."
"The timing of his decision has been perfect. The only thing I hope now is he wins the World Cup and signs off as an India T20 captain on a high. It could be his last hurrah as T20I captain," added Vengsarkar.
The former cricketer is also pleased with the fact that Kohli is committed to focussing more on Test match cricket.
"Compared to Test cricket, T20 is an inconsequential format."
Kohli announced his decision to quit as India's T20I captain in a social media post on Thursday (September 16) evening. The champion cricketer cited immense workload as the major reason.
He's not done exceptionally well in the T20 format as captain: Dilip Vengsarkar on Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli is the third most successful captain in T20I cricket history. In 45 games, under his leadership, the Indian team won 27 matches and lost just 14. Two ended in ties while two matches recorded no result. Kohli's win percentage of 65.11% as captain in T20Is is inferior only to Afghanistan's Asghar Afghan (81.73%) and Pakistan's Sarfaraz Ahmed (78.37%).
The 32-year-old is also the only Asian skipper to lead his side to bilateral series wins in Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand. Under his leadership, Team India lost just one series that consisted of more than one match.
However, Vengsarkar believes that Kohli hasn’t done well as captain in the T20 format as he cited his barren trophy cabinet in the IPL.
''Besides that, he's not done exceptionally well in the T20 format as captain. Even in the IPL, he hasn't led the Royal Challengers Bangalore to a single tournament win. That must've played on his mind too."
Vengsarkar claimed Rohit Sharma deserves to lead the country in the shortest format given his record as skipper in the cash-rich league and in the limited opportunities that he has got to lead India.
"Rohit deserves to be India's next T20 captain because he's done exceptionally well whenever he's been given an opportunity. In 2018, India won the Asia Cup under his captaincy. Besides that, he's been an exceptional captain for the Mumbai Indians," Vengsarkar said.
While the BCCI is yet to formally announce Rohit Sharma as the next T20I captain, it seems certain that he will succeed Kohli after the T20 World Cup. So far, Rohit Sharma has led India in 19 T20I matches and has won 15 of those.
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