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Sourav Ganguly reveals BCCI requested Virat Kohli to stay on as T20I captain

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Sourav Ganguly has revealed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had requested Virat Kohli to not step down from his role as captain of the T20I side.

Kohli decided to step down as captain after the 2021 T20 World Cup and while he was asked not to, the 33-year-old still decided to go ahead with his decision.

Following Kohli’s decision, the board decided against having different skippers for the two white-ball formats of the game, and officially announced Rohit Sharma as the new ODI and T20 captain, while Kohli will continue to lead the team in Tests.

Ganguly said:

“It was a call the BCCI and the selectors took together after they requested Kohli not to step down but he did anyway. Ganguly added that the selectors did not think it right to have two different captains for white-ball tournaments.”

The BCCI president further revealed that he personally spoke with Kohli about his decision along with the chairman of selectors.

“It was decided that Virat will continue as Test captain and Rohit will take over as the white-ball captain. I as President personally spoke to Virat Kohli and the chairman of selectors has also spoken to him,” Ganguly said.

The former Indian batsman added that the board believes in Rohit Sharma and in his ability to lead the team. He also added that the BCCI believes that Indian cricket is in good hands. Sharma also replaced Ajinkya Rahane as the vice-captain for the Test format of the game.

India’s former coach Ravi Shastri backed Kohli for his decision and gave examples of other greats who did the same thing during their careers.

He insisted that Kohli is a “tactically sound captain”, who has matured and evolved well as a player over the years.

Shastri backed Kohli’s decision to step down from his role, adding that former India greats, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, did the same to get the most out of their careers.

“I remember Sunny (Gavaskar) giving up [captaincy] to concentrate on his batting; Sachin Tendulkar did the same to prolong his career,” said Shastri.

Kohli was India’s second most successful captain in T20Is after MS Dhoni, having lead the team to 30 wins out of 50 games, and losing just 16. Kohli’s final game as captain was India’s last game of the T20I World Cup against Namibia which the Men in Blue won comfortably by nine wickets.

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