Sourav Ganguly “personally requested” Virat Kohli to not give up his T20I captaincy despite the controversial decision to replace the batsman as ODI captain with Rohit Sharma standing.
Ganguly, the President of the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), spoke out on India’s shift from Kohli as a limited-overs skipper to Sharma last week.
The 49-year-old admitted India’s decision-makers wanted separate captains in the two shorter formats of the game. But still liked Kohli as a T20I skipper.
India is 3/1 with some of the best cricket betting sites in India to win the next T20 World Cup in Australia next year.
Virat Kohli stepped down as captain of that team after they crashed out in the group stages of this year’s tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). But Ganguly insists he wants the legendary right-hander to stay on, saying: “It’s like I said… I personally requested him not to give up the T20I captaincy.
“Obviously, he felt the workload. Which is fine, he has been a great cricketer, he has been very intense with his cricket.
“He has captained for a long period of time and these things happen. Because I have captained for a long period of time; therefore, I know.
“Also, they wanted only one white-ball captain. And that’s why this decision. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.
“But as I said, it’s a good team and it has some fantastic players and I hope they will turn it around.”
Kohli cited workload management as his reason for giving up the armband in September.
“Understanding workload is a very important thing. And considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all three formats and captaining regularly for the last 5-6 years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian Team in Test and ODI cricket,” he said.
Kohli was replaced as T20I captain by Sharma last week. The BCCI selectors ‘deciding’ the change was needed without giving reasons.
Ganguly then revealed the BCCI had asked Kohli not to step down as T20 captain, but the 33-year-old decided not to continue.
“It’s a call that the BCCI and the selectors took together,” he said.
“Actually, the BCCI had requested Virat to not step down as the T20I skipper but obviously, he did not agree.
“And the selectors then did not feel it right to have two different captains for two white-ball formats.
“So, it was decided that Virat will continue as Test captain and Rohit will take over as the white-ball captain.
“I as President personally spoke to Virat Kohli and the chairman of selectors has also spoken to him.
“We have full faith in Rohit Sharma’s leadership abilities, and Virat will continue as the Test captain.
“BCCI is confident that Indian cricket is in good hands. We thank Virat Kohli for his contributions as captain in the white-ball format.”
Ganguly added they did “consider” Kohli’s winning rate of 70% as skipper, but also pointed to Sharma’s record of eight wins in 10 ODIs as stand-in captain.
Kohli first led India in an ODI back in 2013. Before taking over as limited-overs captain on a full-time basis from MS Dhoni. He won 65 of his 95 ODIs in charge, leading India to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup where they lost to runners-up New Zealand.
So Kohli remains the Test captain, with Sharma taking over from Ajinkya Rahane as vice-captain. India will play three Tests and three ODIs in South Africa over the winter. The first Test starts on December 26th in Centurion.