A leader innovates, inspires and hence invites glory to his team. Every successful team that sport has produced has always had a good leader. Battles are always won by the combination of strength and mind. And that little part played by the mind is exactly what the captain needs to achieve.
Building a winning mindset, teaching the team to have faith in themselves & developing a healthy atmosphere within the dressing room is what a captain needs to do. The rest of the job is to be done on the field.
India’s current captain of all formats – Virat Kohli, has been exceptional in most of the points mentioned above. But what about that little part at the end? How has Virat done when it comes to leading the team on the field? Well, it hasn’t been that great, especially in T20s. His leadership in the IPL being his biggest flaw.
Here are 5 reasons why Virat Kohli must step down as the captain in T20Is
1. Better Workload Management
Virat Kohli. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
In the last few years, Virat Kohli has been on top of his game, achieving various milestones one after the other. But has too much of cricket impacted him?
Kohli has a knack of taking the onus on his shoulders. Before the IPL 2019 season, there were various questions raised on his captaincy and RCB’s poor performance. And one could feel that Kohli’s game wasn’t as fluent as it has been all these years. The pressure of leading RCB could well be the reason for the same. He faced criticism from fans and the media, and his captaincy did take a toll on his performance as he ended the IPL with just 464 runs in 14 matches. Decent stuff, but not by Kohli’s standards.
Teams like Australia and England have implemented the concept of ‘Split Captaincy’ for years now. Currently, Tim Paine leads the Aussie Test side whereas Aaron Finch is the captain for the shorter formats. Similarly, Joe Root (Test) & Eoin Morgan (ODI) are England’s skippers for different formats. This has helped them reduce the pressure from one specific player.
Adopting a similar approach will definitely help India. If Kohli is relieved from captaincy duties in the shorter formats, it’ll definitely help reduce the mental weight that he is currently carrying. This, in turn, will help increase his international career span.
2. Tactical errors by Kohli at crucial times
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
After India’s recent loss to New Zealand in the CWC19 semi-finals, some of Kohli’s decisions came under the scrutiny. The biggest one being the delay in MS Dhoni’s arrival at the crease. Many believed that Dhoni’s defensive approach was the need of the hour after India lost 4 wickets with just 24 runs on the board. And captain Kohli definitely missed the trick by not sending Dhoni upfront. It eventually cost India a World Cup.
Another much talked about tactical blunder came in the recent IPL when MI were chasing RCB’s 171 at the Wankhede and required 22 off 12 balls. Virat had plenty of options to go to with Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini & Mohammad Siraj having multiple overs left. But Virat decided to hand the ball to Pawan Negi, a left-arm spinner. Negi was now up against Hardik Pandya, a batsman who feeds on spinners.
It turned out to be a huge blunder as Pandya smashed Negi and won the game for MI in the 19th over itself. It was later observed that Virat’s decision to hand the ball to Negi was influenced by Ashish Nehra, their bowling coach. But this is turn puts more light on Kohli’s lack of vision in reading the game and also the inability to back his decisions.
3. Kohli’s poor team building sense
MS Dhoni, Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Be it a Test match or a T20 International, having faith in your players continues to be the most basic requirement of a successful team. Good teams are built from a strong core. And when it comes to T20s, Virat has failed to retain that core group of players. Too many changes to the side is not the answer to poor performance in the previous games, something that Kohli the captain must understand.
Imagine being a new player in a side that keeps changing players. It creates too much of insecurity amongst the players, especially in T20s where the game demands quick runs and one has no choice but to go big right from the word go. Players in such a team fail to deliver to their potential, one of the main reasons why RCB has failed to deliver repeatedly.
4. Rohit Sharma’s better track record as captain
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)
The appointment of Rohit Sharma as captain (2013) worked wonders for Mumbai Indians. Since then, they have managed to win 4 IPL titles to become the most successful team in IPL history. Well, that also makes Rohit Sharma one of the best captains in the T20 franchise tournaments.
Not just the IPL, Rohit Sharma has also been impressive as a captain at the international level. In ODI’s, Rohit has led India in 10 matches winning 8 out of them. He has also led India to 12 victories in 15 T20Is as a captain. Not to forget that Kohli has 56 wins in 77 ODI’s and 12 wins from 22 T20I as a captain which is still a good record. But Rohit has seemed to be the better captain of the two in shorter formats.
Sharma an astute leader, is blessed with an analytical mind and is known for his planning and vision. He has shown immense maturity on the field and has manoeuvred his players really well. He will definitely be India’s best option going ahead in the shorter formats.
5. Preparation for the T20 World Cup in 2020
Virat Kohli. (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
In October 2020, Australia will host the 7th edition of the T20 World Cup. With just close to one year left for the mega event, is this the right time for the management to decide the team’s future in T20Is?
With the World Test Championship starting in August this year, this looks like the most opportune moment to implement ‘split captaincy’ in the Indian team. While Virat Kohli can lead the Test side, a highly successful leader in Rohit Sharma could be given the opportunity to lead the nation in the limited-overs format, especially the T20Is.
With India set to play close to 20 T20Is before the World Cup, a new captain will have ample time to get himself in. Since their Champions Trophy wins in 2013, India have failed to get their hands on any ICC trophy and a change in captaincy in T20Is could well be their key to success.
~Written by Ameya Thakur
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