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Virat Kohli's passion and energy won't change, just because he’s not the captain: Ajit Agarkar

New Delhi, Sep 22: Virat Kohli surprised all with his decision to relinquish as the captain of the Indian T20I side after T20 World Cup 2021 and Royal Challengers Bangalore after IPL 2021.

The move came as a surprise to not just Kohli's fans but also to the cricketing fraternity. Everyone has been wanting the Indian batting maestro to lift an ICC and the IPL trophy but their hopes were dashed as the 33-year-old chose to balance his work and increase longevity. Kohli will, however, be playing as a batsman for Team India in the T20Is, as well as for the RCB.

While talking about Kohli's decision to step down as the captain of his IPL side and the T20I side, former India seamer Ajit Agarkar said the Delhi cricketer will continue to play with the same passion and energy in the future as well.

Speaking exclusively on STAR SPORTS' LIVE FEED OF SELECT DUGOUT, Agarkar said, "I think one of the things we've seen throughout his career, even when he wasn't the captain and when he played under MS Dhoni quite a bit, the energy and the passion still seemed the same. I can't imagine it changing just because he's not the captain and just being one of the guys."

Former India wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel - who has played with Kohli in the RCB squad before retiring from all forms of cricket - also shared his opinion over the right-handed batsman's decision to step down from RCB captaincy, and said, "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 Virat 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 rollercoaster 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."

Kohli's former RCB teammate and legendary South Africa speedster, Dale Steyn, while speaking about the former's decision and said it is the right time for him to put aside other things 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.

"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," said Steyn.

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Story first published: Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 14:22 [IST]
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