T20 World Cup 2021: “Kohli a big player, but never saw captaincy potential in him,” says Danish Kaneria

Virat Kohli | GETTY

India skipper Virat Kohli is under heavy criticism after the back-to-back losses in the T20 World Cup 2021. Pakistan broke India’s winning streak over them in the ICC World Cup events, and then New Zealand continued their dominance over India with a victory on October 31.

Former Pakistan cricketer Danish Kaneria isn’t impressed with Kohli’s captaincy and he called him an ‘unsuccesful captain’ overall. Kaneria said that he has never seen captaincy potential in him and questioned his decision-making.

“There are a lot of reasons. The first one is Virat Kohli – he has been an unsuccessful captain. He made the wrong team selections for the WTC final. Until he was there in Australia, India lost, and then Ajinkya Rahane became the captain and led his team to a win. No doubt Virat Kohli is a big player but I have never seen captaincy potential in him. He has a lot of aggression but the decision-making ability as a captain is missing in him,” Kaneria said on his YouTube channel.

Kaneria further spoke on Team India’s head coach Ravi Shastri and said he has disappeared even before his coaching tenure ends after the T20 World Cup 2021. “Another reason is Ravi Shastri who has just disappeared. It seems as though he feels ‘My time is up, the World Cup is the last in my tenure. I won’t be there post this. So whatever happens let it happen’ and he too has stepped aside. I won’t blame MS Dhoni too much since he has just come into the side.

“Yet, he was part of the management and cricket involves all the 11 players as well as the management. So everybody is responsible. It’s not an individual sport but a team sport so the entire team is responsible”, he added.

Earlier, Kohli had said that he would open with Rohit Sharma in the T20 World Cup 2021. But India went ahead with KL Rahul and Rohit for the first match, and then Rahul and Ishan Kishan for the second match.

Kaneria pointed it out and said, “I cannot understand this conflict – Virat Kohli opens for RCB and stated that he will open in the World Cup as well. Once the World Cup comes closer he says that there aren’t better openers than KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma and they will open. Then where did Ishan Kishan come from during the New Zealand game? No doubt Rohit Sharma is the vice-captain but they ended up feeling that Trent Boult is ahead of him so they should try something different. They would be assuming that Rohit and Rahul will come out to open so if we sent Ishan Kishan to open their plans would flop.”

The ex-Pakistan cricketer further said that New Zealand’s Kane Williamson was tactically better. “But Kane Williamson and New Zealand had Plans A, B, and C ready. Whatever cards Kane Williamson played were right on top. Everybody performed for them. But India made a big mistake – they should not have changed the opening combination. They should have allowed Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to open. Yes, they should have played Ishan Kishan – I would have also played him but in the position of Hardik Pandya.”