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‘He’ll Be Dangerous Player, Will Become More Fearless’: Wasim Akram On Virat Kohli Leaving India's T20 Captaincy

Wasim Akram, Sunil Gavaskar react to Virat Kohli's decision t step down as India's T20I captain

Wasim Akram, Sunil Gavaskar react to Virat Kohli's decision t step down as India's T20I captain

Former Pakistan captain and bowling legend Wasim Akram expressed that he was utterly surprised to know that Virat Kohli decided to step down as Team India's T20I captain.

The ongoing T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman is Virat Kohli’s final assignment as Team India’s T20I skipper as he will step down from the post after the conclusion of the ICC event. He had made the announcement through a social media post, stressing on the workload factor as the major reason.

Be it cricket fans or pundits, Kohli’s decision was a shocker to every follower of the game. And now, as the 32-year-old gear up to lead the men-in-blue in a marquee T20I tournament, several experts believe that giving up on captaincy would enhance his game.

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In a conversation with India Today, former Pakistan captain and bowling legend Wasim Akram expressed that he was utterly surprised to know the development. However, he opined that the decision will free Kohli and turn him into a more dangerous batter in the shortest format of the game.

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“I was a bit surprised when Virat Kohli announced he will quit T20I captaincy. I suppose, playing three formats in the present scenario can become a little difficult,” Akram told India Today.

“IPL is like a fourth format. You have as much pressure as you have in international cricket in IPL. Franchise cricket involves more pressure because you need to be answerable. Owners might ask you why you lost and you have to have an explanation. You have to be in a position to explain because it’s their right, they are investing a lot of money.

“I think the time has come where Virat Kohli will enjoy T20s and I am telling you he will be a dangerous player even as a player after leaving captaincy. He will become more fearless,” he added.

Former India captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar echoed Akram’s sentiments and said leaving the captain’s post will not have any effect on Kohli’s batting.

“No (his batting won’t be affected). He made the decision all by himself. I think it’s hard to tell someone like Virat to quit captaincy. I think he realised that he is willing to give someone else the opportunity to lead and just play his shots in T20s. When he comes to that mode, I don’t think anyone will be able to stop him.

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“When you become the captain, you don’t just think about yourself, you think about everybody else in the team. You have to worry about others’ form and think about ways to help them,” Gavaskar said.

Kohli will be seen in action against Pakistan on Sunday in India’s campaign opener at the T20 World Cup 2021.

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first published:October 22, 2021, 17:19 IST