Monty Panesar claims Virat Kohli will have no option but to step down from captaincy duties if he doesn’t win a World Cup soon. The former England spinner pointed out that since the next T20 and ODI World Cups will be held in India, Kohli’s leadership will attract scrutiny if he doesn’t win one of the tournaments.
Virat Kohli’s role as Indian skipper has come under question after Ajinkya Rahane led India to a memorable Test series victory in Australia.
“If India have a questionable series. If they don’t win the T20 World Cup, or the World Cup, because they’re both in India. I think after that Virat Kohli will have to step down. His captaincy is there but he definitely needs to win one out of the T20 or the World Cup in India,” Panesar said.
Ajinkya Rahane’s spectacular tenure as captain in Australia has increased the pressure on Virat Kohli. From backing youngsters, astute bowling changes and field placements to leading an inexperienced team in adversity, Rahane passed his test with flying colours.
Although Monty Panesar doesn’t feel a change in captaincy is needed at the moment, he admits Virat Kohli will have a new challenge when he returns to the side as skipper.
“It’s an interesting debate. I think Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma’s combination works really well when they’re both given the leadership. It will be the skill of Virat Kohli to manage all the leaders now. This is going to be the next part of his captaincy,” Panesar added.
Touching on England’s upcoming tour of India, Monty Panesar explained that Virat Kohli will have to alter his leadership style, owing to Ajinkya Rahane’s success.
“Especially when England come to India and play 4 Tests in Tests in 5 weeks. He likes his dictatorship style but this time he’ll have to start listening to other people. There may be times during the Test series when he may have to listen to the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Ravi Shastri and Rohit Sharma. He’ll have to take their decisions on board and put them into practice, Panesar said.
Monty Panesar feels Virat Kohli can hand over the reins to Ajinkya Rahane later
Opening up on the captaincy debate, Monty Panesar suggested that having a strong leadership group is the biggest positive to come out of the Australia tour. The former left-arm spinner admitted that Virat Kohli may only step down once he has achieved his targets as skipper.
“I think Virat Kohli has been successful in all forms of the game. His record is still great. I’m sure Virat Kohli wouldn’t want to give up the captaincy. I’m sure there are certain records where he feels that maybe he can beat,” Panesar said.
He also pointed out how captaincy seems to get the best out of Virat Kohli. Since taking over the leadership duties from MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli's personal game has gone up a notch. Referring to the same, Panesar feels the current Indian skipper will only relinquish his role to Ajinkya Rahane once he feels he has nothing else to conquer.
“So I'm sure there will be a point where he’ll be thinking ‘Have I beaten all the records as Test captain’ and after that, there’s nothing else to achieve. Maybe hand it over to Ajinkya Rahane so he can concentrate more on getting the runs. But it’s up to him as an individual. I think he gets more out of himself as a player when he’s a captain. He’s able to score runs and loves the responsibility," Panesar colcluded.
India are next up against England in a four-match Test series, which will be followed by five T20Is and three ODIs.