Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt reckons that Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as T20 captain should not affect the team in a significant way.
According to Butt, Kohli’s move is a well-thought one as the time has come for someone to share the workload with him.
Kohli stunned the cricket world on Thursday when he released a statement through his official social media handles to confirm that he would not captain India in T20Is after the T20 World Cup.
Analyzing Kohli’s decision, Butt opined that the run-machine has taken the right decision, as it will give him some much-needed breathing space.
“There is nothing to worry for Indian cricket over Kohli quitting T20 captaincy.
Kohli just wants to focus on improving his quality of cricket, his batting in particular, for upcoming times. Captaincy is not a bed of roses.
When your performance starts dipping, many questions are raised because you are not responsible for only your individual performance but that of the entire team. There comes a time when you have to decide to go left or right,” said Butt.
The ex-Pakistan skipper backed Rohit Sharma to take over from Kohli in the T20 format. According to Butt, India have a very good replacement option in Sharma, who is a proven leader.
“Kohli has done wonderfully well and India have an able replacement (Rohit Sharma possibly). So Kohli quitting should not adversely affect India in any way. It is a very calculated decision. He is putting the team over himself. Let’s appreciate it,” added Butt.
Responding to a user’s query on whether his inability to win an ICC trophy as captain may have hastened Kohli’s decision
“Luck plays a big part in winning finals. So many greats haven’t won any ICC trophy. Kohli is not alone. It doesn’t make them lesser players.”
Under Kohli, India lost the 2017 Champions Trophy final, the 2019 World Cup semi-final and the 2020 WTC final.
The ICC Men’s #T20WorldCup 2021 will be Virat Kohli’s last outing as India’s T20I captain.
Kohli and Rohit are like the Jayawardene and Sangakkara: Salman Butt
According to Butt, Kohli should not have any issues playing under Rohit Sharma in T20Is if the Mumbai Indians skipper is appointed captain. The former Pakistan cricketer compared Kohli and Rohit to Sri Lankan legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.
“Kohli and Rohit are like the Jayawardene and Sangakkara of Sri Lanka. The captaincy switched between them but they worked together and took decisions as one. Similarly, I don’t think there should be any issue if Rohit takes over from Kohli in T20 cricket. They can work well as a team,” said Butt.