As Virat Kohli shook the world with his sudden decision to step down as Test captain, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has stated that Kohli wants to make himself ‘unsackable’ as a skipper. Notably, his announcement came just a day after India lost to South Africa by seven wickets in the Cape Town Test.
While reflecting on this, Manjrekar said on ESPN Cricinfo: “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.”
He continued: “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.”
Under Virat Kohli, India won the first Test in Centurion which gave them hope of a maiden series win in South Africa. However, India lost the next game by seven wickets in Johannesburg in Kohli’s absence. While he was back for the decider Test in Cape Town they again lost by the same margin as well.
And, Sanjay Manjrekar also claimed that the recent change in the BCCI, as well as Ravi Shastri’s exit as the head coach, pushed Virat Kohli out of his comfort zone as well. However, Virat Kohli has ended his stint as Team India’s most successful Test captain, leading the team in 68 matches, winning 40 of them.
The veteran elaborated: “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,” Sanjay Manjrekar concluded.