• Friday, May 20, 2022

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Kohli ‘tends to quit’ when his captaincy is under threat: Manjrekar

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE, SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

VIRAT KOHLI’S surprise resignation as India’s Test skipper has been a talking point in the cricketing world as pundits and fans alike are coming to terms with his move.

While many current and retired players have expressed shock over his resignation, former batter Sanjay Manjrekar said Kohli “tends to quit” when he feels “his captaincy is under threat”.

“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,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.

Kohli called time on his Test captaincy on Saturday (15) after India’s series loss to South Africa and the announcement meant he will no longer lead the country in any format.

He had stepped down as India’s T20 skipper last year before he was replaced as the ODI captain by Rohit Sharma. He had also announced that 2021 was his last season as the skipper of the Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Manjrekar said he was surprised by Kohli’s decision and felt that the change of team management contributed to his move. According to him, Kohli would not get the same level of support under new coach Rahul Dravid as he got under his predecessor Ravi Shastri.

“He was uncomfortable when Anil Kumble was the coach and once Shastri and the support staff came in, he felt comfortable and was able to enjoy his captaincy. The new coach (Dravid) is no Ravi Shastri. He would have got some inkling of the kind of support he was going to get from him,” the noted commentator said.

Manjrekar said the fact that Kohli was not in the best of his form also contributed to his decision to leave captaincy.

“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,” he told the cricket website.

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