My article today was supposed to be on how Team lost the series to South Africa which they were favorites but South Africa won it coming from behind to beat favorites India. I shall leave that for some other day as the big news coming out is the sudden announcement of Virat Kohli stepping down as India’s test captain.
Virat Kohli’s stepping down as Captain is not because India lost the series to South Africa. This was bound to come after the drama which happened with the BCCI which started with his T20 resignation before the T20 World Cup. And to make matters worse for Kohli, the BCCI president Saurav Ganguly had requested Kohli not to step down but Virat didn't want to continue and hence they decide to axe Virat Kohli has ODI captain too as he felt two white ball Captains was too much of leadership. Virat Kohli contradicted Saurav Ganguly's statement in the press conference before leaving for South Africa saying his decision to step down as T20 captain was well received and that he was not told to reconsider his decision. In fact, he further said in the press conference that he had been told about his removal as ODI captain just one and half hours before the selection meeting to pick the test squad for South Africa and that there was no prior communication to him at all. This Bombshell made Ganguly to say this is BCCI matter and they will handle it. Instead he made the chief selector Chetan Sharma who I would call as a puppet of the Big guys running the BCCI in the middle of the series to counter Virat allegation that everyone who were present in the meeting had asked Virat to reconsider his decision to stay on as T20 captain.
I find it baffling to see a captain who has led India to 40 test wins in 68 test matches and just 11 losses to give up his Captaincy just after a series loss to South Africa. He was so desperate to win the series that in the last test match when Dean Elgar’s decision was reversed by the DRS, he lead his frustration further digging a hole for himself.
His statement where he said everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as test captain is now which can't be coming because of one series loss but because the way the BCCI has handled his removal as ODI captain and it has left India high and dry with a captain with so much of success to step down as Test captain. To wind up my story, I believe the selectors wanted Virat to succumb under pressure and I am afraid he fell in to the trap of the Top bracket running the BCCI.
The sad part is that the next test match which India would be playing against Sri Lanka in Feb end would be Virat's 100 test match and thanks to the dirty politics played the most successful test captain won't be leading his team out.
I am baffled that he has stepped down as India’s test captain, I sincerely hope that this decision which Virat has taken for sake of India is not taken in anger and that he is contented and happy of what he has done for team India till date. We just saw him playing two high quality innings in the last two test Matches where we could see the solid temperament and hunger he had for test cricket. He has got so much of cricket left in him and I sincerely hope that this decision has come out of happiness and not anger for him being removed as odd captain as he has a lot to contribute to Indian cricket. He always gives more than 100 percent in every game and the energy which he rubs on to every cricketer in the Indian team is unmatchable. No one can doubt his credibility when playing for India, we might sometimes disagree to the decisions he took sometimes but he stood by it and wore his heart on his sleeve as the Indian captain. He was the ideal brand ambassador for test cricket and took India from the seventh position to number one winning
series in Sri Lanka, West Indies, Australia and also beat England. Before he became the captain, India never had the fast bowlers who could win you test matches abroad but under him India developed fast bowlers like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav who could challenge opposition in any condition, be it England,
Australia, South Africa. It’s a sad day for Indian cricket as there is no one even close to him who is the flag bearer for test cricket and I sincerely hope he changes his mind as India needs him in test cricket at least for the next five years till we groom a new captain.