New Delhi: After having given captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri the long rope in an effort to win an ICC Trophy, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) felt it was time to hang the Damocles’ sword over their heads. To ensure India team’s superlative show in the forthcoming World T20 Cup, the BCCI turned to former captain MS Dhoni and made him agree to mentor the team. This ensured that there was an undercurrent — perform or perish. But who likes playing cricket under pressure? No one.
And Kohli is no different. He played it smart. Whether his team wins it or not, he is not going to continue as T20 captain. It is also a clear indication that the Kohli-Shastri combination is on its way out and don’t be surprised if Shastri announces his decision to quit before the World T20 gets underway. “Shastri could still change his mind,” warns a BCCI source.
Of course, talks have been going on about how there can also be two different coaches for two different formats? It has also come to light that Shastri helped Kohli make this decision and the Indian captain did mention it in the brief note he put out on his social media account.
However, the timing of his calling it quits is completely imperfect. To us, cricket means a team game but for the players, it is completely individualistic. It is like Kohli quitting the format before it began. If Kohli did decide to bow out of the T20 captaincy, why is he captaining the side for the World T20? Can’t he give it to Rohit Sharma right away? Or else, Kohli could have taken a call after the World T20. So, there seems to be a conspiracy theory here.
As far as Rohit is concerned, he has been wishing to lead India for a long time. It is a different story that he never got the opportunity to do so. He is also being hailed as a great T20 captain because his IPL outfit Mumbai Indians have won five titles. Not only that, Rohit also has a good team and a captain is as good as his team. Similarly, Kohli has a good Indian team and an impeccable record as Indian captain and possibly won the T20 series in every cricket-playing nation. Most importantly, he never led India in the World T20, so what was the hurry to quit after one event?