Was Virat Kohli forced by BCCI to step down from Captaincy?

On September 16, Virat Kohli announced that he will step down as India’s T20I captain following the conclusion of the 2021 T20 World Cup. He wished to continue in the longer formats. However, just in space of four months, Kohli was no more India’s captain in all formats. Was it the force of the board BCCI in making Kohli step down from captaincy? 

It was all of a sudden, especially considering their 2-1 loss to the Test series in South Africa. This also takes after that Dean Elgar DRS controversy, where Virat, his deputy KL Rahul and Ravichandran Ashwin made their public opinions through stump mic about their dissatisfaction with the DRS. 

Team India came with full confidence in the Test series, believing that they could win their first series in South Africa against a low-confident host. They won the first Test match comfortably by 113 runs but lost the second and third Test matches by seven wickets each. 

The highlight of the third Test was the Dean Elgar DRS controversy. Elgar was one of the key batters for the South African team. He led the side in the second match to victory with his unbeaten 92. Elgar’s DRS reversal shock the Indian team and Virat was no stranger when it comes to openly express his anger and frustration.

Did BCCI force Virat Kohli to step down?

The now-former Indian captain believed that it was the right time to step down. However, fans claimed that the governing body of Indian Cricket, BCCI, has something to do with this. Especially the timing of his stepping down. 

The timing to quit as Test captain has arrived at a time when his relationship with the board is so poor at the moment that he decided to publicize his decision on his social media account.

The BCCI had recently removed Kohli from his ODI leadership in December, causing an uproar from fans and experts. It was revealed from the former no.1 Test batter that he was not consulted by the board for discussion and that he was only informed on the online conference. 

The selectors of the BCCI did not find it suitable to have different captains for limited-over formats. This controversy was additionally spiced by conflicting comments from both Kohli and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly. 

Virat Kohli Test

Despite a strained relationship, he thanked the board for giving him the chance to lead until this long. He led Indian cricket for the first time when MS Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket midway in the series against Australia in 2015. 

“I want to thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of time and more importantly to all the teammates who bought into the vision, I had for the team from day one and never gave up in any situation…”

Under Virat’s leadership, India has won the Test series over Australia, becoming the first Asian team to conquer. Memorable series wins include Sri Lanka in 2015, their first in 22 years, and currently leading the England series 2-1 with the last Test match to be played later this year. 

Where does Virat Kohli end as Test captain?

It is a hot topic to discuss as the former no.1 Test batter has been magnificent both as a leader and as a player, despite his poor patch since 2020. 

Virat has led India to 68 matches, out of which 40 of them came in the winning cause. He easily ends up not only India’s most successful captain but Asia’s as well. He ranks as the fourth most successful Test captain of all time in terms of wins. 

Virat Kohli ICC
Virat Kohli is the first Asian captain to win series in Australia

In away matches, India has won 16 games under him. It is easily the most for India. In SENA countries, India has won seven games under Virat. This is a record among the Asian captains, where the next best is four wins each by Pakistan duo of Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad. 

As a batter, his record reads 5864 runs at an average of 54 with 20 centuries and 18 fifties. His 20 centuries as captain is the second most, five behind South Africa’s Graeme Smith. Kohli’s magnificent seven double-hundreds as captain is also the highest. 

It is safe to say, Virat Kohli ends as one of the greatest captains in Test cricket. However, whether it may have been a rift between the board of India or was it really his own decision, the timing has been too obnoxious.

Also Read: How Mohammad Hafeez went from Good All-Rounder to Professor & Beyond

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