Former Indian wicketkeeper reacts to Virat Kohli quitting as Test captain Photograph:( AFP )
Former Indian keeper and national selector Saba Karim opened up on Virat Kohli's decision to quit as Test captain. Here's what he said:
On Saturday (January 15), Virat Kohli dropped a bomb by announcing his decision to step aside as the Test captain of the Indian cricket team. Kohli's decision came following the three-match Test series loss to South Africa, in the rainbow nation, on Friday (January 14).
Kohli, thus, signed off as India's most successful Test captain -- leading the national side in 68 Tests, winning 40 of them. In mid-September 2021, the 33-year-old had announced that the T20 World Cup will be his last assignment as captain of the shortest format. In December, BCCI sacked him as the ODI captain before giving up the Test captaincy as well.
Talking on India News, former Indian wicketkeeper and national selector Saba Karim opined on Kohli's Test captaincy resignation and said, "It is very difficult to say what is the reason behind this. The picture we are getting to see in the last four-five months, it means the pressure was building on him. He might have been feeling suffocated because of which he might have ended his relationship with captaincy."
"Virat Kohli is a person who doesn't take a step back from fighting. I agree India lost the Test series in South Africa, where they were expected to win, but he is always ready for such challenges. It is the first time he has taken such a decision on his own," he added.
Karim further expressed his concern with so many changes happening rapidly in Indian cricket. In this regard, he stated, "I didn't think so many changes will happen so soon. The first setback was when Kohli himself decided that he will not do the T20 captaincy. We had spoken about the timing that time as well that the World Cup was about to happen and the team had been selected, for Kohli to take such a decision was extremely astonishing."
"The selectors then decided that Kohli will not remain the captain in ODI cricket as well. So too many changes have happened too quickly. The first change was initiated by Kohli himself but after that, the selectors have had a role in the change and in the end, again this personal decision from Kohli."
The Indian cricket loyalists would be hoping for King Kohli to break his international century-drought at his earliest given he is now free from captaincy duties and can play freely. He will be seen in action in the forthcoming three ODIs versus Temba Bavuma-led Proteas, where the Men in Blue will be led by KL Rahul amid limited-overs captain Rohit Sharma's absence (due to hamstring injury).
The ODIs will commence on January 19 at Paarl.