Former India captain Kapil Dev has a piece of advice for Virat Kohli, India’s outgoing captain.
Kohli, on Saturday, publicly announced his decision to resign as India’s Test captain after he’d left the T20I captaincy and was removed as the ODI skipper last year ahead of the South Africa tour.
Now, as India take on the Proteas in a 3-ODI series starting Wednesday, it will be the first time since 2017 that Kohli will play as a player for India. In absence of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul will lead the side in the ODI series.
Kapil Dev, India’s 1983 World Cup-winning captain, has suggested Kohli that the 33-year-old “give up his ego” while playing under a younger captain in KL Rahul. He cited the examples of himself, Sunil Gavaskar and other former cricketers who played under junior captains.
Kapil asserted that Kohli as a batsman remains invaluable to the side.
Speaking with Mid-Day, Kapil said, “Even Sunil Gavaskar played under me. I played under K Srikkanth and Azharuddin. I had no ego. Virat will have to give up his ego and play under a young cricketer. This will help him and Indian cricket. Virat should guide the new captain, new players. We cannot lose Virat, the batsman…no way.”
On the sudden decision made by Kohli to quit Test leadership, Kapil reflected that Kohli had been going through a tough patch off the field since he had resigned from the T20I captaincy position, a tussle with the top BCCI officials has kept Kohli’s mind occupied.
The 63-year-old opined that giving up the captaincy will free up Kohli’s mind for his batting form too has taken a nosedive over the past couple of years.
“I welcome Virat’s decision to quit the Test captaincy. He was going through a rough time ever since he gave up the T20 captaincy. He has looked tense in recent times, appeared to be under a lot of pressure. So, giving up the captaincy was an option in order to play freely. He opted for that.
“He is a mature man. I am sure he must have thought hard before taking this important decision. Maybe, he wasn’t enjoying the captaincy. We have to support him and wish him luck,” the legendary all-rounder added.
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