Virat Kohli's era as the captain of the Indian T20 cricket team has come to an end with a debacle from the World Cup and with an emotional message. The 33-year-old star batsman has announced that he would step down as the captain of the Indian T20 team, ahead of the commencement of the ongoing World Cup, and said that he will be leading the team only till the World Cup, while affirming to keep his captaincy for the ODI and Test matches.
As the Indian Cricket Board has been in the process of setting the ground for a transition, Virat Kohli's campaign as the captain has come to an end with the defeat in the World Cup, though the Indian team won the final league match against Namibia. India's campaign had taken a hard hit when the team was stumbling in its run towards the semi-finals of the World Cup. Regarded as one of the T20 teams in the world, the Indian contingent had displayed a flawed performance and braced up a defeat against Pakistan and New Zealand.
After the defeat and giving the prospect to Pakistan to create a history of beating India in the World Cup, India went on to win against the semi-hardcore cricket nations of Afghanistan, Scotland, and Namibia and waited for the magic to happen. As India lost the two consecutive matches despite three victories having dimmed the country's fate in the semi-finals, the match between Afghanistan and New Zealand was a gamechanger. There were two groups with six teams each in them and the top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals.
India was in Group 2 and while Pakistan had already received a berth in the semi-finals, the race was intense between India and New Zealand for the second spot with the Net Run Rate (NRR) playing a pivotal role. When Afghanistan faced New Zealand, India had a bright chance to enter the semi-finals based on the NRR, if Afghanistan defeats New Zealand. However, New Zealand, which is one of the successfully T20 teams had blown off not only Afghanistan but also India's dreams for the semi-finals and the defeat and walk out from the World Cup was a huge debacle for Kohli's captaincy.
As captain, Kohli hadn't won any major trophies and he ended his captaincy as India is out of the World Cup. On Monday, India has defeated Namibia and closed the season with a victory. As he bidded farewell for the Indian team and the fans as the T20 captain, Virat Kohli was emotional and expressed that no one was more disappointed than the Indian team. He also had thanked the support throughout his tenure and affirmed that India will come back stronger.
Virat Kohli took to social media and wrote, "Together as one we set out to achieve our goal. Unfortunately, we fell short and no one is more disappointed than us as a side. The support from all of you has been fantastic and we are grateful for it all. We will aim to come back stronger and put our best foot forward. Jai Hind". On Monday, India had defeated Namibia by nine wickets. The Men in Blue chased the target of 133 runs and reached the target successfully in 15.2 overs by scoring 136 runs for one, with KL Rahul smashing 54 runs off 36 balls.
India's Vice-captain Rohit Sharm has also scored a half-century with a knock of 56 off 37 balls. With the victory against Namibia, India had finished third in Group 2 with Pakistan and New Zealand finishing first and second spot respectively. Pakistan, New Zealand, England, and Australia had qualified for the semi-finals and while England will be taking on New Zealand on the first sem-final on Wednesday- November 10, Pakistan and Australia will play the second sem-final, which will be held on Thursday and the finals will be held on Sunday- November 14.
A look at Virat Kohli's T20 captaincy:
Virat Kohli became T20 captain in January 2017 and in his nearly half-a-decade captaincy, he had etched a slew of remarkable achievements. Kohli led India in the 50 T20s, winning 30 of them. He has become the second Indian T20 captain to record more victories after MS Dhoni, whose captaincy had led the team to taste 42 victories. Interestingly, Kohli is the seventh player after MS Dhoni, Eoin Morgon, Willaim Porterfield, Aaron Finch, Kane Williamson, and Asghar Afghan to lead a side in 50 or more T20s.
Kohli has left the captaincy with a tag of being the only Indian captain so far to have won bilateral T20I series in SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia) nations - England (2018), South Africa (2018), New Zealand (2020), and Australia (2020). Kohli has also reached the 1000-run mark in T20I quicker than any other batsman. He reached this feat in 30 innings and he is also the second-highest run-scorer as T20 captain.
He has scored 1,570 runs at a strike rate of 140.55 while leading Team India. He is behind Aussie's Aaron Finch, who scored 1,719 runs. Finch led Australia in 54 T20s as of now. Importantly, Kohli has led the team to taste victory in the last five bilateral series as captain and India didn't lose a bilateral T20 series under his captaincy since February 2019. However, winning the T20 world cup was still a dream for Kohli. It is pertinent to note that Kohli had also stepped down as the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Indian Team Head coach Ravi Shastri's tenure has also come to an end with the World Cup and he will be replaced by former Indian captain Rahul Dravid.
Together as one we set out to achieve our goal.Unfortunately we fell short and no one is more disappointed than us as a side.The support from all of you has been fantastic and we are grateful for it all.We will aim to come back stronger and put our best foot forward. Jai Hind🇮🇳🙏 pic.twitter.com/UMUQgInHrV— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) November 8, 2021