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Virat Kohli quits India Test captaincy; KL Rahul front-runner to take over leader role in longest format

KL Rahul

Bengaluru, January 15: Virat Kohli on Saturday (January 15) quit Test captaincy with shockingly abrupt manner. It came hours after India failed to win the Test series against South Africa.

India lost the series after winning the first Test at Centurion and that might just have played a part in this decision. Kohli had already moved away from leadership roles in T20Is and ODIs late last year, and now Kohli will be the senior batsman in the side without having the saddle of captaincy.

"7 years of hard work, toil and relentless perseverance everyday to take the team in the right direction", the time had come for him to step aside.

"Every thing has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test Captain of India, it's now," Kohli said in a Tweet.

"There have been many ups and also some downs along the journey, but never has there been a lack of effort or lack of belief.

“I have always believed in giving my 120 percent in everything I do, and if I can't do that, I know it's not the right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team.

"I want to thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of time and more importantly to all the teammates who bought into the vision I had for the team from day one and never gave up in any situation.

“You guys have made this journey so memorable and beautiful. To Ravi Bhai and the support group who were the engine behind this vehicle that moved us upwards in Test Cricket consistently, you all have played a massive role in bringing this vision to life.

“Lastly, a big thank you to MS Dhoni who believed in me as a captain and found me to be an able individual who could take Indian Cricket forward,” he added.

So who would be leading India in Test cricket from hereon as Sri Lanka is due to tour the country next month for two Tests.

1 KL Rahul

Rahul is the frontrunner for the job as he has already been named as vice-captain of the side and led India in the second Test against South Africa at Johannesburg. Kohli had skipped that Test with an upper back spasm. So, he could be the natural choice in the longer format.

2 Rohit Sharma

Rohit has been named as India captain in T20Is and ODIs after Kohli moved away from the job but he will not be seen in action in the ODIs against South Africa as the Mumbaikar is recuperating from an injury. But will the selectors hand the Test captaincy to him and once again opt for a uniform leader across all three formats.

The chances for it are quite slim considering the hectic schedule and the fitness of Rohit at the moment. The selectors might just leave him with the job of planning India’s campaign in the upcoming T20 World Cup later this year in Australia and the 50-over World Cup in India in 2023. The BCCI would not want to burden Rohit with too many eggs in his basket.

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Story first published: Saturday, January 15, 2022, 19:47 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 15, 2022