The cricket fraternity was left stunned when Virat Kohli dropped a bombshell and stepped down from the Test captaincy. Kohli’s call came after India lost the Test series against South Africa. The last few months have been hard on Kohli. Post his decision to step down as India T20I captain, he was removed as ODI captain by the BCCI which caught him off guard. Add to that his low returns with the bat. There have been speculations about his rift with the Board over the ODI captaincy sacking which might have forced him to take such a hard call.
Meanwhile, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has made a shocking statement on Kohli’s decision to step down. Manjrekar feels that Kohli stepped down as he feared that BCCI may sack him as Test skipper. “It’s come one after the other in a very short span of time – giving up the white-ball captaincy and IPL captaincy as well. This also was unexpected, but it is interesting that all these three resignations of important positions have come so quickly one after the other. I think, in some way, he wants to make himself unsackable as captain. When he gets that vibe that his captaincy is under threat, he tends to quit”, said Sanjay Manjrekar while speaking to ESPN Cricinfo.
Manjrekar also felt that the departure of Ravi Shastri got Kohli out of his comfort zone. Notably, Shastri resigned from his post following the 20-20 World Cup and Rahul Dravid took over the reins of the team. Kohli was very close to Shastri, while Dravid is an exactly opposite personality. “The landscape is changing, the scenario around Virat Kohli that allowed him to be himself and flourish. Ravi Shastri coming in. He was uncomfortable when Anil Kumble was the coach and once Shastri and the support staff came in, he felt comfortable. The new coach (Rahul Dravid) is no Ravi Shastri. He would have got some inkling of the kind of support he was going to get”, he said.
Meanwhile, the BCCI will now have to look out for the next India captain. If reports are to be believed, KL Rahul is likely to be named as captain.