A day after India lost the Test series to South Africa by seven wickets in Cape Town, Virat Kohli has announced that he is stepping down as captain of the team and will step down with immediate effect.
As of early 2015, after MS Dhoni had announced his retirement from Test cricket in Australia, Kohli took over as full-time Test captain, and he has held the position ever since.
Why did Virat Kohli quit captaincy?
The sudden announcement by Kohli comes after a tumultuous period between him and the BCCI that started with his resignation from T20I cricket before the World Cup of 2021. Kohli was stripped of the ODI captaincy by the BCCI early in December, with Rohit Sharma taking over the white-ball captaincy. Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI president, said the day after Kohli decided to step down as captain that he had spoken with him about staying in the role. However, Kohli rushed to contradict Ganguly, saying his decision to step down had been “well received”, that it was considered “progressive” by BCCI top brass, and that “I was not told to reconsider” his decision.
As part of the same press conference, Kohli expressed his disappointment in the removal of his position as ODI captain, saying he had only been informed of it 90 minutes prior to the meeting to pick the South Africa Test squad, and that he had not been given any prior notice at all about it.
Moreover, the controversy grew when chief selector Chetan Sharma announced that “everyone who was present in the meeting” had asked Kohli to reconsider his decision when he stepped down as T20I captain on December 31, another date on which Kohli stepped down as captain, when the ODI squad for the South Africa tour was announced.
The Indian cricket captain took to Twitter on Saturday, saying: “It’s been 7 years of hard work, toil, and relentless perseverance every day to get the team to where it is today. The work has been done honestly, and I have left nothing out. Things have to come to a halt at some point, and for me as Test captain of India, that time has come. There have been many ups and downs along the way, but there has never been a lack of commitment or belief.
There has never been a time that I did not give my 120 per cent in every single thing I did. If I am not able to do that, then I know it is not the right thing to do. I have complete clarity in my heart and cannot be dishonest with my team.
It is a pleasure for me to express my gratitude to the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead the country for such a long period of time. In addition, it is a pleasure to express my gratitude to all my team-mates who have always committed to my vision since day one. The journey with you guys has been so beautiful and memorable. You all have taken on a significant role in bringing this vision to life by being the engine behind the vehicle that propelled us upwards consistently in Test cricket, thanks to Ravi Bhai [Shastri] and the support group. Finally, I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to MS Dhoni who believed in me as a captain and viewed me as an individual with the ability to take Indian cricket forward.”