Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting recently weighed in on Virat Kohli relinquishing his leadership duties in Test cricket. The decision came one day after India suffered a humiliating 1-2 defeat against South Africa.
Meanwhile, Kohli had earlier stepped down as India’s captain from the shortest format after the T20 World Cup before he was removed from ODIs ahead of the series against Proteas. Many believe that Kohli wanted to lead the side in the 50-over format and that his removal didn’t go well and stepping down from the Test format was a reaction to it.
Ricky Ponting, who remains to be one of the fiercest leaders in world cricket, recalled how he had a word with Kohli during the start of IPL 2021 – where Virat Kohli shared his views about giving up white-ball captaincy and how proud was he to be leading India in Test cricket.
“Yes, it did actually (surprise me). Probably the main reason why is, I had a chat and good catch-up with Virat during the first part of the IPL (2021) before it got postponed. He was talking then about stepping away (from captaincy) from white-ball cricket and how passionate he was to continue on to be Test match captain,” Ponting said in the first episode of ‘The ICC Review’.
“He just loved and cherished that job and that post so much. Obviously, the Indian Test team had achieved a lot under his leadership. When I heard it, I was really, really surprised,” he added.
Virat Kohli steps down as India’s most successful Test captain winning 40 out of 68 matches.
You only have to watch him for an hour to realize how passionate he is about that job – Ricky Ponting
The former Aussie cricketer also stressed how Virat Kohli was passionate about leading India in the red-ball format of the game.
“You only have to watch him on the field for an hour of the day’s play to realize how passionate he is about that job and the role, and how much he wants the team to win and how much he wants the best for Indian cricket. I was shocked, but then I started thinking about other things, even my own time as captain. I have gone on record and said that I probably think I played a couple of years longer than I should have in hindsight. I think I might have been captain for a couple of years longer than I should have,” he added.