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"Will he continue to lead RCB?" - Aakash Chopra says Virat Kohli stepping down not a "wise long-term" decision

Indian captain Virat Kohli (PC: BCCI)
Indian captain Virat Kohli (PC: BCCI)
SENIOR ANALYST

Aakash Chopra believes Virat Kohli's sudden decision to step down from India's T20I captaincy after the 2021 T20 World Cup might not be wise for the the long term.

Speaking in a video on his YouTube channel, the cricketer-turned-broadcaster said that leaving the captaincy in just one format, that too, the shortest one, might not lighten his workload massively. He also questioned whether Virat Kohli will also leave the captaincy of his IPL franchise, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), after the UAE leg. Aakash Chopra said:

"He's leaving it in just one format which means he wants to continue as captain in Tests and ODIs. It will be interesting to see how the story develops from here. See, there's a World Cup in 2023 and T20I and ODI teams don't have much difference so you often give Tests to one and T20I and ODI to someone else... If you dive into it a bit - how much T20I cricket does India actually play in a year?"

Chopra added:

"He's captaining in the World Cup and what's left are just 8-10 matches. So, will he continue to lead the RCB from next year because that's also [a part of] shortest format? Because from a workload perspective, leaving one format, that too the smallest, as a captain, might not be a wise long-term solution."

Aakash Chopra also remarked that the decision might soon transit to a split captaincy with Virat Kohli for just Tests and Rohit Sharma - the most likely replacement in T20Is - for both white-ball formats.

Chopra reasoned that a system where there's one captain for Tests and ODIs and another for T20Is isn't seen anywhere else in the world and might not work as well as India expect.

Aakash Chopra added:

"It might start to move in a direction where you say 'Rohit is doing well in T20Is let's give ODIs as well' and play the 2023 World Cup under him as well. That is a possibility, it's not a far-fetched dream because that's what happens worldwide - Eoin Morgan and Joe Root [are an example]. You never do a Test-ODI captain and T20I captain, but you segregate like one red-ball captain and one white-ball captain. If he wants to keep the red-ball leadership, he might have to leave the white-ball captaincy completely because half-and-half, I don't think will workout that well."

In his long statement, Virat Kohli mentioned his desire to manage his workload and focus only on his batting in the shortest format. He said the decision was taken after consultations with Rohit Sharma, head coach Ravi Shastri and the BCCI.


KL Rahul could be the vice-captain after Virat Kohli steps down: Aakash Chopra

Former India opener Aakash Chopra.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra.

Click here for complete 2021 T20 World Cup schedule till the finals.

Aakash Chopra also suggested that with Rohit Sharma likely to get the promotion, opening batsman and Punjab Kings skipper KL Rahul could be entrusted with the role of vice-captain in the T20Is after the marquee event.

Aakash Chopra concluded:

"I think KL Rahul will be made vice-captain... (Shreyas) Iyer is not in the World Cup team so how would he be the vice-captain? So KL Rahul could be the vice-captain of the Indian Cricket Team in T20 cricket."
The Squad is Out! 🙌What do you make of #TeamIndia for ICC Men's T20 World Cup❓ https://t.co/1ySvJsvbLw

India's T20 World Cup campaign will begin on October 24 against the Pakistan squad for T20 World Cup. The IPL, on the other hand, will start on September 19 in Dubai.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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