T20 World Cup: Kohli honoured to have captained India as tenure comes to an end

By Sports Desk November 08, 2021

Virat Kohli insists he still has full motivation to continue playing for India in the T20 format, after his tenure as captaincy came to an end. 

India beat Namibia by nine wickets on Monday, in what was Kohli's last match as skipper in the shortest format of the game.

Their hopes of reaching the T20 World Cup semi-finals had already been ended on Sunday, when New Zealand beat Afghanistan to secure the last available place in the next round.

Kohli, who turned 33 last week, announced before the tournament that he would be stepping down from leading India in T20Is, though he will stay on as ODI and Test captain. 

While still eager to play a vital role for the team in T20Is, Kohli believes he has made the right decision for his career.

"Relief, firstly! It's been an honour, but things have to be kept in the right perspective and I thought that this was the right time for me to manage my workload," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

"Six, seven years of intense cricket, every time you take the field, it takes a lot out of you. It's been amazing, so much fun, a great bunch of guys who played together for so long, we really performed well as a team.

"I know we haven't gone further in this tournament but we have played some really good cricket as a team. It's something we've all enjoyed, so many years playing together, it's absolutely made my job much easier.

"The way we played the last three games, it's a game of margins in T20 cricket. We were not brave enough in the first two games, we suffered because of that and we knew that it was going to be complicated for us to go through."

Asked if he would still retain the same hunger as he has shown as captain, Kohli replied: "For me if I can't do that, I will not play this game anymore.

"That's been my goal from day one, even when I wasn't captain, I was always keen to learn, keen to know where the game is going.

"I'm always going to be around with my point of view and anything I can do for the team, I'm not a guy who's just going to stand around and do nothing, I'll always want to give 120 per cent on the field.

With India chasing a target of 133, Kohli chose not to come out and bat after Rohit Sharma - who surpassed 3,000 runs in T20Is - was dismissed for 56, instead sending out Suryakumar Yadav, whose 25 off 19 deliveries paved the way for the excellent KL Rahul (54) to seal victory.

"Surya didn't get too much game time in this World Cup, it's a T20 World Cup at the end of the day, I thought it would be a nice memory for him to take back as well," Kohli explained.

 

Kohli's T20 tenure in numbers

Kohli has been captain of India in all formats since 2017, having taken over the limited-overs responsibilities from the great MS Dhoni.

In total, he won 30 of his 50 T20Is as skipper (60 per cent), suffering 16 defeats, while two games were tied and two matches did not finish.

India's highest score of 240-3 during his spell as captain came against the West Indies at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium in December 2019, while a low point for Kohli's team came earlier in this World Cup, when they were limited to 110-7 by New Zealand.

Pakistan, led by the supreme Babar Azam, thrashed India by 10 wickets in the Super 12s opener, and they are the only nation Kohli failed to beat in the format while captain.

Indeed, Kohli is the only Indian captain to lose a World Cup game in any format against Pakistan.

Kohli's won seven games against England, out of 11 meetings, while he also managed an impressive four wins against Australia. 

Across his 11 innings against Eoin Morgan's side, he scored 393 runs. Incredibly, he has not yet managed to score a century in the format, with his 94 not out against West Indies in 2019 his highest tally.

As T20 captain, Kohli has scored 1,570 runs from 46 innings, averaging 47.6 at a strike rate of 141. He surpassed 50 on 13 occasions, striking 114 boundaries and 59 sixes.

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