Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022

Virat Kohli On Last Day As India's T20 Captain: 'The Day I Lose Intensity, I Will Quit'

Virat Kohli also revealed that it was the right time for him to relinquish T20 captaincy so as to better manage his workload.

After renouncing T20 captaincy, Virat Kohli could play as a batter as early as November 17 with India taking on first T20I against visiting New Zealand. AP Photo

In "a game of margins," Virat Kohli is not the one "to stand around and do nothing". For the outgoing India T20 captain, the day he loses intensity, he will quit. (More Cricket News)

That's what Kohli revealed minutes after his final game as the captain of the India T20 side. India finished their ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 campaign with a Super 12 win against Namibia in Dubai, UAE on Monday.

Known for his work ethic and drive for excellence, Kohli said that the level of his intensity in the field is "never going to change. If I can't do that I will not play anymore. Even when I wasn't captain before I was always keen to see where the game is going. I'm not going to stand around and do nothing."

India, after losing to Pakistan and New Zealand in the first two Group 2 matches, did everything right in the next three games, but the wins against the minnows -- Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia -- came too late.

The failure to make the knock-outs, India first in an ICC event since 2012, also highlighted Kohli's failure to win a multi-team tournament. But Kohli was pleased with the team's performance even as head coach Ravi Shastri blamed the circumstances for the debacle in the UAE.

"We've really performed well as a team. I know we have not gone far in this World Cup, but we have had some good results in T20 and enjoyed playing together.

"It's a game of margins, T20 cricket. You talk about two overs of cricket with intent in the first two games and things could have been different. We were not brave enough as I said. We are not a team that will give the excuse of tosses," the 33-year-old added.

Kohli also said that it was the right time for him to relinquish T20 captaincy so as to manage his workload.

"Relief firstly. As I said it's been an honour, but things have to be kept in the right perspective... This was the right time for me to manage my workload. It's been six-seven years of intense cricket every time we take the field and it takes a lot out of you."

He thanked outgoing head coach Ravi Shashtri and other support staff for their contributions to Indian cricket.

"Big thank you to all those guys, they've done a tremendous job all these years keeping the group together," Kohli said. "Great environment with them around, they were an extended part of our bigger family. They've contributed immensely to Indian cricket as well. A big thank you to all of them from all of us."

Virat Kohli will soon join hands with former captain and batting great, Rahul Dravid as India host New Zealand. It will be the start of a new era in Indian cricket after with different captains for different formats.

Kohli himself all but confirmed Rohit as his successor to lead India in the shortest format. The ultra-successful Mumbai Indians captain in the Indian Premier League may even end up captaining the ODI side too.


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