On Saturday, Virat Kohli shocked the world by announcing his resignation as India’s Test captain, a day after India suffered a series defeat in South Africa.
This has come on the back of his tussle with the BCCI that led to him being sacked as the ODI captain before the South Africa tour. Virat Kohli had already relinquished his T20I captaincy at the end of the T20 World Cup, in which India were ousted at the group stage. Later, the BCCI decided to sack Kohli as the ODI captain for they wanted one leader – Rohit Sharma in this case – to lead the side in both white-ball formats.
Things have transpired really quickly regarding Kohli’s position as India’s captain. This has led to fans reminiscing a statement of former captain MS Dhoni from 2017.
Dhoni, who had retired from Test cricket at the end of 2014 handing over the reins to Kohli, stepped down as the limited-overs captain at the start of 2017. Soon after, he had said that split captaincy doesn’t work in Indian cricket.
After relinquishing his limited-overs captaincy in 2017, MS Dhoni had said: “I am someone who believes in our (India’s) scenario — I don’t believe in split captaincy. For the team there has to be only one leader. Split captaincy doesn’t work in India… I was waiting for the right time.”
One can wonder if Virat Kohli, who recently quoted one of MS Dhoni
‘s advice in a press conference ahead of the Cape Town Test, thought of another of Dhoni’s beliefs while making the decision to quit as Test captain. With Kohli stepping down as the Test skipper despite being India’s most successful Test captain, it seems like Kohli agrees with Dhoni that split captaincy is not the thing for Indian cricket.
The likeliest candidate to replace Kohli as the new Test skipper is the ODI and T20I captain, Rohit Sharma, who was named the Test vice-captain before getting injured and missing the South Africa tour. KL Rahul, who recently led India in Johannesburg, is also a contender for the Test leadership role.
While Kohli surpassed MS Dhoni as a captain in the longest format, and everyone else by some distance, his legacy as the white-ball captain hasn’t been near Dhoni’s.