Virat Kohli is not new to captaincy. He has led different sides right from grade cricket. He was the captain of the Under-19 Indian team that won the World Cup in 2008. Moreover, from the time he transitioned successfully to the senior team, he was seen as a future captain.
Kohli got his chance at the helm for the first time in 2013 but it was only in January 2015 that he took over as full-time Test skipper. A couple of years later (in 2017), the Delhi lad was appointed the captain across all formats. India have done well under him since then. They’ve lost just two ODI bilateral series and have become the No. 1 Test team in the ICC Rankings.
However, in the recent past, Kohli’s captaincy has come under the scanner quite a bit. The 30-year-old’s tactics on the field and his team selection have been criticised heavily. Moreover, India have failed in the knockouts of two ICC tournaments as well. Also, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) haven’t done well under him over the last few years. Hence, there are talks around axing Kohli as captain. However, there might be a few consequences if that happens.
Here are five such consequences India might face if he loses captaincy:
Virat Kohli, the captain-batsman way better than just pure batsman
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)
There are a few batsmen who love to take the added responsibility and lead from the front. Virat Kohli belongs to that category. He simply loves that extra responsibility and it reflects in the stats as well. Kohli has far better numbers as captain than as a normal player.
The 30-year-old has scored almost half of his career international runs as captain. The Delhi lad has amassed 10,0087 runs in international cricket as the captain of the Indian team across all formats. He has an average of nearly 66 and has scored 39 out of his 68 international tons as captain. His numbers as non-captain are no match to these. Kohli averages a shade under 50 when he wasn’t the leader of the pack.
Moreover, Kohli’s batting in Test cricket has gone on another level. He has become a lot more consistent and has churned out hundreds like never before. The same has been the case in ODI cricket. Thus, while Kohli was already an excellent player as non-captain, captaincy has brought the best out of the Kohli, the best. He has evolved a lot and has carried the batting line-up on his shoulders.
India might miss their aggressive captain
Virat Kohli of India speaks to teammates in a huddle. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
It is no secret that Virat Kohli is one of the liveliest characters on the field. He wears his heart on his sleeve and loves a challenge. Moreover, everyone knows that Kohli is aggressive on the field and doesn’t back down. He isn’t afraid to give it back to the players who go after him.
Thus, under him, the Indian team has evolved into an aggressive group as well. They aren’t shy to give it back when they get sledged. Moreover, it also brings the best out of the players which, in turn, troubles the opposition and they’re well aware of it now.
Moreover, Kohli is one such player who is always in the face of the opposition teams. He loves celebrating each wicket and doesn’t mind doing it in the face of the batsmen either. The current Indian skipper is also the team’s cheerleader and constantly tries to cheer the crowd. He wants them to get behind the team.
The fitness standard that Kohli set
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli walks with his teammate Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)
Virat Kohli at the start of his career (for about five-six years) and Virat Kohli post-2012-13 are two different entities altogether. The transformation has been remarkable. A chubby, young cricketer has turned into a fit, freak and mature captain.
The 30-year-old is currently in the shape of his life and he’s been at that level for a couple of years now. The current Indian captain can run his 100th run or even 200th run as fast as his first run. Be it the start of the day in Test cricket or the fag end of the day, Kohli gives his everything, whether it with the bat or in the field. In fact, Kohli feels most of his present success is due to his fitness levels.
This has set a standard in Indian cricket. Players are taking inspiration from the skipper and are getting fitter. Kohli played a decent role in the introduction of the yo-yo test in Indian cricketing circles. A lot of cricketers have publicly named Kohli their role-model, especially for fitness. Hence, this is one of the fittest Indian teams to have ever played the game.
Structure of the team might change
Indian team. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Different captains have different styles of leading the team. For instance, MS Dhoni loved playing around with spinners and part-timers while Virat Kohli likes the pace on the ball. Moreover, he prefers to have full-time options and doesn’t dwell a lot with part-timers.
Also, captains prefer backing certain players. Thus, a change in captaincy will not only change the team dynamics, but there will also be certain players who will face the axe. There is a possibility that the new captain prefers certain players and in-form players might be dropped.
The team combinations and tactics might undergo a change as well. Kohli has been captain in all three formats for two and a half years now. Thus, a change in captaincy might see a structural change in a small period of time which might, in turn, affect the performance of the team as well.
Virat Kohli. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
A couple of years back when MS Dhoni stepped down as captain from all formats, there were questions whether he would gel well under Virat Kohli. That transition took place very smoothly and there wasn’t much of a difference. Kohli oversaw the transition of the Test team also really well after Dhoni’s sudden retirement.
However, if Kohli is stripped off captaincy, it may not be the case again. The transition when Dhoni stepped down seemed peerless with the mutual respect and Kohli allowing Dhoni to take a few decisions in limited-overs cricket. But there is no certainty that the transition will take place in a similar manner when Kohli departs from the helm.
Moreover, at the moment, Kohli might not want to play under any other captain. Since he took over as full-time of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), he has never had thoughts of stepping down despite the team not doing well. Thus, the 30-year-old may never have thoughts of stepping down but if forced, there will be a certain element of ego involved. Hence, he may not want to play as a non-captain.
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