Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as T20 captain took months to mature, not weeks as many Indian fans believe. Many cricket fans across the world were taken aback when they heard that ‘King Kohli’ was stepping down as captain, but what many of them don’t realise is that the whispers began in July, shortly after India’s loss to New Zealand in the World Cup Final.
“There were whispers in the corridors of power as early as July, shortly after the World Test Championship final, of an expected shift at the top. There have been indications of additional captaincy strain presenting itself, apart from the need to recapture his own heights as a batter, which Kohli indicated he plans to pursue by giving up T20I captaincy,” a report by website ‘Cricbuzz’ states.
Kohli was also claimed to be encountering “challenges” with the new selection panel, according to the newspaper. He had to fight tooth and nail to keep Shikhar Dhawan in the ODI team for the England series back in March. Kohli’s troubles were on the rise, with a new selection committee and an approaching shift in the coaching staff. For example, he had to push hard to get Shikhar Dhawan into the India-England ODI squad in February and March of this year. According to reports, the selectors sought another opener who had performed well in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Dhawan, who had already lost his position in the Twenty20 squad, was a must, according to Kohli.”
The pressure of playing for a franchise was clearly evident. Even though Kohli’s vice captain Rohit Sharma has multiple IPL trophies to his name, he didn’t.
“Additionally, Kohli was under increasing pressure, particularly in terms of winning an ICC event. The Mumbai Indians have won five IPL titles under Rohit Sharma’s leadership since 2013, while the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s trophy cabinet is barren, adding fuel to the debate about Kohli’s captaincy in the shortest format.”