T20 World Cup 2021: Wasim Akram and Sunil Gavaskar react to Virat Kohli quitting India T20I captaincy

Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni | Getty

Cricketing legends Wasim Akram and Sunil Gavaskar have given their opinions on Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as the India T20I captain after the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021. Kohli will be leading the Indian team in the T20 World Cup for the first and last time.

Akram said that he was surprised with Kohli’s decision to quit India’s T20I captaincy, but believes the decision will free Kohli up and the star batsman will only become more dangerous in the shortest format of the game.

Akram highlighted that playing all three formats in international cricket can be stressful and that the Indian Premier League has become an integral part of an Indian cricketer’s career, considering how much he is answerable to the owners of the franchises.

Haan, I was a bit surprised when Virat Kohli announced he will quit T20I captaincy. I suppose, playing three formats in the present scenario can become a little difficult. IPL is like a fourth format. You have as much pressure as you have in international cricket in IPL.

Franchise cricket involves more pressure because you need to be answerable. Owners might ask you why you lost and you have to have an explanation. You have to be in a position to explain because it’s their right, they are investing a lot of money,” Akram said on Salaam Cricket 2021.

“I think the time has come where Virat Kohli will enjoy T20s and I am telling you he will be a dangerous player even as a player after leaving captaincy. He will become more fearless,” Akram added.

Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar said that the decision to quit India captain will not hamper Virat Kohli’s batting at all.

“No (his batting won’t be affected). He made the decision all by himself. I think it’s hard to tell someone like Virat to quit captaincy. I think he realized that he is willing to give someone else the opportunity to lead and just play his shots in T20s. When he comes to that mode, I don’t think anyone will be able to stop him.

When you become the captain, you don’t just think about yourself, you think about everybody else in the team. You have to worry about others’ form and think about ways to help them,” Gavaskar said.

Virat Kohli will lead India against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup opener in Dubai on October 24.