New Zealand pacer Tim Southee has given his opinion about Virat Kohli’s sacking from white-ball captaincy. According to Southee, who has shared a professional relationship with Kohli since their U-19 days, being relieved of limited-overs captaincy responsibilities is a weight off his shoulders.
While Kohli will continue to lead India in Tests, Rohit Sharma was announced as full-time captain in white-ball cricket, in addition to being appointed as vice-captain of the Test side. Southee in an interview with Amazon Prime Video, the official live streaming partner of New Zealand’s cricket matches, said, “I don’t know what it was like to captain India and the pressures that come with it. Not only that, but IPL as well. He’s done it over a period of time.”
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I am sure it’s a weight off his shoulders, and the person that he is, he will be contributing in some leadership form or another throughout the rest of his playing days,” he added.
Southee has played under Kohli’s captaincy in the Indian Premier League during his time at the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2018 and 2019, and is familiar with his batting style as well as his captaincy. He added, “I am sure it will be great for the new captain of RCB, and Rohit Sharma and Team India, to have someone like Virat to turn to and have a shoulder to lean on out of the field as well.”
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Kohli may have been eased of the pressure that comes with captaining a country across all formats, but he has his task cut out of leading his side to victory in South Africa where India has never won a Test series. Along with that, he would also be aiming to turn things around with the bat and come out of the lean patch since he hasn’t been able to pile on runs as consistently as he used to.
In fact, Kohli last hit a hundred in 2019. It is safe to say that there may be added weight after the drama that has ensued between him and the BCCI officials after he was sacked.
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