Former England Cricketer Monty Panesar Slams Virat Kohli’s Decision

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The Indian cricket team led by Virat Kohli started their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign on a poor note with two straight losses to Pakistan and New Zealand in Group 2, which almost flattered their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals. The Indian cricket team entered as favorites to win the tournament but the batters struggled badly to post a competitive score in both the games and didn’t pick enough wickets with the ball to justify their ‘favorites’ tag.

The Indian skipper was highly criticized for pushing Indian opener Rohit Sharma to bat at number 3 and allowing Ishan Kishan to open against New Zealand. Several cricketers, experts, and pundits have come ahead and criticized the performance of the Indian skipper.

Former England spin bowler Monty Panesar is the latest one to give his opinion about the Indian skipper. Monty Panesar’s remarks came ahead of team India’s do-or-die encounter against the Afghanistan cricket team, which they won in Abu Dhabi.

Though Panesar hailed Virat as a great batsman but he believes that people will always criticize him for his leadership. He said:

People will remember Virat as a great batsman and massive chaser but will always criticize him as a leader because he couldn’t do anything when the team was under crisis and he failed to turn it around,”

As per Monty, things would have been different for the Indian cricket team had Kohli not announced his decision regarding captaincy before the tournament. He said:

“I don’t want to blame Virat here. There are some players who were thinking that they want to replace Virat as the next captain. They want to be the next India captain. Virat made a big mistake announcing the decision ahead of the tournament that he will be giving up his T20I captaincy after the World Cup. He should have played the tournament and then at the end of the tournament, whatever India’s result was, announced that – I am quitting T20I captaincy. Things would have been different today if Virat had done this,”

He added:

“By announcing this beforehand, (the likes of) Rohit, Rishabh, and KL must be thinking of themselves as the next T20I captain. There won’t be any focus on the game then. Rather than focusing on the game, they must be thinking about the captaincy. So, Virat shouldn’t have announced this because there are too many leaders in this team. He should have kept his cool, played the tournament, and then said ‘I am going to hang up my T20I captaincy boots now’,”

After giving two back-to-back humiliating performances, the Indian cricket team bounced back into the form in their next two games against Afghanistan and Scotland, by giving complete team performances. Talking about India’s chances of qualifying for the semi-final, Panesar said:

“India can still qualify. They can still turn it around. But it needs a lot of things and all will depend on Virat, Ravi, and Dhoni. Virat, Ravi, and Dhoni need to be on the same page. I believe they are not”