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.
As captain, Kohli hadn't won any global 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". As several cricketing fans have been thanking Kohli for his T20 captaincy, let's take a look at it and his remarkable milestones.
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.
Who's next to take the baton?
India will be playing against New Zealand in the upcoming Test and T20 series with a new T20 captain and Kohli's probable successor is the current vice-captain, Rohit Sharma. According to reports, Rohit Sharma will be named the captain of the Indian T20 squad with this series against the Blackcaps. It has also been reported that Sharma will be named as the captain for India's first Test match as Virat Kohli will be taking a break from the first test and will join the squad in the second one.
New Zealand will be touring India in this series and it is most likely that Kohli will also take a break from the T20s against the visitors. While Rohit Sharma becomes the captain of the T20 squad, KL Rahul will be named the vice-captain in the T20 series. The upcoming T20 series will also give a break to some veterans including Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. Harshal Patel, who performed well in the IPL, and Shreyas Iyer will most likely be inducted into the playing XI against New Zealand.
The Chahars will also be inducted in what would become the first series for former Indian captain Rahul Dravid as the Head Coach of Team India. As Rohit Sharma takes the baton, he will be facing a big ordeal in building his campaign as the captain as he would most likely be leading the team in the upcoming T20 World Cup next year, which will be hosted by Australia. India will be playing three T20s and two Test matches against New Zealand.
The T20s will be hosted by Jaipur, Ranchi, and Kolkata, while the Test matches will be hosted by Kanpur and Mumbai. After New Zealand, India will play three Tests, three ODIs, and four T20Is on the tour of South Africa, starting the third week of December.