Bengaluru, September 21: Former Royal Challengers Bangalore stars Dale Steyn and Parthiv Patel have backed skipper Virat Kohli's decision to step down from captaincy after the completion of the ongoing IPL 2021.
Last week, Kohli had announced that he would step down as India's T20I captain after the upcoming T20 World Cup and a few days later, he announced that he would also give up leadership of RCB after the ongoing season.
Both Steyn and Parthiv, who played under the leadership of Kohli in RCB, spoke about their former skipper's announcement during the live feed of Star Sports' Select Dugout show.
Steyn, who announced his retirement from all forms of the game last month, believes that it is probably the right time for Kohli to step aside from T20 captaincy and focus purely on his batting.
"You see the way that he plays, he's involved in everything, whether he's in Test matches when he's standing at first slip or even if he's at the cover, he wants the ball immediately when it goes to the keeper, he always wants to be involved. But I think sometimes now in this COVID time maybe as Parthiv referred to bubble-life, his family that he's got," Steyn said on Select Dugout show.
"It's a lot of responsibility - and playing for RCB before - you see Virat, he's in every advert and every meeting; he's just so busy. So maybe it is the right time for him to just put this aside and focus purely on his batting," he added.
Former Indian wicketkeeper Pathiv, meanwhile, felt Kohli's decision was emotional as he's been the captain of the franchise for nine years and been part of the franchise since the inception of IPL in 2008.
"I think he looked more emotional than happy. I think when you're playing for one franchise for so many years, you get that emotional connect which was there in RCB. I think RCB actually invested in Kohli's talent in 2008 and then showed a lot of trust in him as well because if you look at his and RCB's journey, it has been a roller-coaster one."
"But yeah, he might be relieved because see moving around from one bubble to another can take a load on you and he has spoken about the workload and intensity, which he plays with. I think every practice session, every match session or gym session, he does it with full intensity and that's something I'm sure he must've thought about," he added.
Kohli and co got off to a faltering start in IPL 2021 second phase as they suffered a 9-wicket loss to Kolkata Knight Riders after RCB were bowled out for a paltry 92 on Monday (September 20).
Their were talks that Kohli's decision to make an announcement about his captaincy a day before the match may have cost them, but RCB's Director of Cricket and head coach Mike Hesson said that did not impact the team's performance.
RCB still remain third in the points table, but need to win at least three to seal a play-off spot and they will look to get back among the wins when they face Chennai Super Kings at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday (September 24).
(With Agency inputs)