Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said he surprise by Virat Kohli’s decision to give up the T20 captaincy. Speaking at Salaam Cricket 2021, Akram said he, however, believes the decision will free Kohli up. The star batsman will only become more dangerous in the shortest format of the game.
Kohli is all set for a crucial tournament in his celebrated career. As the star cricketer will lead India in the T20 World Cup, which got underway on October 17. Having announced he will be stepping down as India’s T20I captain after the World Cup in the UAE. Kohli will be determined to win his maiden ICC trophy as captain as bow out on a high.
Notably, Kohli finished his Indian Premier League captaincy career without a trophy. As Royal Challengers Bangalore knock out in the play-offs of IPL 2021 earlier this month.
Kohli decided to give up IPL and T20I captaincy, citing workload management. However, the skipper maintained that he would continue to lead India in ODIs and Tests.
Akram highlighted that playing all three formats in international cricket can be stressful. Indian Premier League has become an integral part of an Indian cricketer’s career, considering how much he is answerable the owners of the franchises.
“Haan, I was a bit surprised when Virat Kohli announced he will quit T20I captaincy. I suppose, playing three formats in the present scenario can become a little difficult,” Akram said.
“IPL is like a fourth format. You have as much pressure as you have in international cricket in IPL. Franchise cricket involves more pressure because you need to be answerable. Owners might ask you why you lost and you have to have an explanation. You have to be in a position to explain because it’s their right, they are investing a lot of money.
“I think the time has come where Virat Kohli will enjoy T20s. I am telling you he will be a dangerous player even as a player after leaving captaincy. He will become more fearless,” Akram added at Salaam Cricket 2021.
I don’t think anyone will be able to stop him: Gavaskar
Meanwhile, batting great Sunil Gavaskar said the decision to give up captaincy in the shortest format of the game will not affect Virat Kohli’s batting.
“No (his batting won’t affect). He made the decision all by himself. I think it’s hard to tell someone like Virat to quit captaincy. I think he realise that he is willing to give someone else the opportunity to lead. Just play his shots in T20s. When he comes to that mode, I don’t think anyone will be able to stop him.
“When you become the captain, you don’t just think about yourself. You think about everybody else in the team. You have to worry about others’ form and think about ways to help them,” Gavaskar said.
Virat Kohli will lead India against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup opener in Dubai on October 24.