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Brendon McCullum on Virat Kohli Stepping Down as India’s T20 Captain

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum admitted he was initially “surprised” by Virat Kohli’s announcement to step down as the T20I captain after the men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE in October and November. He also said that thinking about how consuming being the captain in all formats is, the surprise has slowly gone down.

“I was initially a little bit surprised, but then when you kind of think about it and think about how consuming that job must be, and the fact that he (Virat Kohli) is an all format captain as well, and the demands which are on you because of that, plus the COVID restrictions and all the bubbles that they operate. Look� I’m not surprised now,” McCullum said on SENZ Baz and Izzy Breakfast Show.

On Thursday, Kohli announced through a statement on social media that he will not be the T20I captain for India after the World Cup in UAE. He said that the decision was made keeping the workload in mind as a three-format player. Kohli added that he had already spoken about it with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah and selection panel. He also said he arrived at his decision after ‘a lot of contemplation and discussions with his close people’, head coach Ravi Shastri and his deputy in white-ball formats Rohit Sharma.

Sharma, who has already led India in 19 T20Is when Kohli was unavailable, is now tipped to be the man to succeed Kohli as the captain in the shortest format of the game. McCullum, who led New Zealand in 28 T20Is from 2008-15 and also captained the team to the 2015 Cricket World Cup final, felt Sharma will be the man for the top job. “The success that Rohit Sharma’s had in T20 cricket in particular with Mumbai Indians over here in (the) IPL, and you’d think he would be the next man in line to take over.”

McCullum concluded by saying Kohli had been an amazing captain for India in T20Is. “(So) I’m kind of not surprised, I mean all good things must come to an end, right? And he’s been a pretty amazing captain for India for a long period of time.”

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