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‘He’s Not in a Great Space at the Moment’: Former Cricketer Decodes Virat Kohli’s Decision to Quit Test Captaincy

A day after India lost the Test series to South Africa 1-2, captain Virat Kohli made an announcement that left the fans and experts shell-shocked. The 33-year-old decided to step down from his post after leading the team in Test cricket for a span of seven years.

Under Kohli’s tenure, Team India reached newer heights and developed a habit of winning overseas. The record at home was already impeccable but the former captain ensured that the foreigners shouldn’t take India lightly while hosting them.

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But the last couple of years has been quite critical for the man from Delhi. Inconsistency with the bat and a century drought has put Kohli under the scanner time and again. Back in September 2021, he resigned as T20I captain to focus on his game. He also decided to relinquish the leadership of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. Later, he was removed from his duties in the ODIs as well.

Meanwhile, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar opined that Kohli has taken a number of massive decisions in a short time to make himself ‘unsackable’ as a captain.

“It’s come one after the other in a very short span of time – giving up the white-ball captaincy and IPL captaincy as well. This also was unexpected, but it is interesting that all these three resignations of important positions have come so quickly one after the other,” Manjrekar told ESPN Cricinfo.

“I think, in some way, he wants to make himself unsackable as captain. When he gets that vibe that his captaincy is under threat, he tends to quit,” he added.

The cricketer-turned-commentator further said the change in guard in the BCCI and Ravi Shastri’s exit would have pushed Kohli ‘out of his comfort zone’.

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“The landscape is changing, the scenario around Virat Kohli that allowed him to be himself and flourish. Ravi Shastri coming in. He was uncomfortable when Anil Kumble was the coach and once Shastri and the support staff came in, he felt comfortable. The new coach (Rahul Dravid) is no Ravi Shastri. He would have got some inkling of the kind of support he was going to get.

“The regime change in the BCCI also has something to do with all these important announcements that Virat has made. Clearly, a guy who finds himself outside his comfort zone. Individually, his batting is not at its best. All that has just added up. He is not in a great space at the moment. These are all emotional decisions that one can understand,” Manjrekar concluded.

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