It has been a year since Virat Kohli stepped down from India’s captaincy in all formats. The 34-year-old led India in Tests for eight years while he led the country for three years in white-ball cricket. In these four years of captaincy, Kohli took India to the knockouts of every ICC tournament barring the 2021 T20 World Cup where India got knocked out of the tournament in the group stages.
However, the Virat Kohli-led team failed to achieve the ultimate glory as they were knocked out either in the semifinals or the finals. India lost to arch-rivals Pakistan in the summit clash of the 2017 Champions Trophy, bowed out of the 2019 ODI World Cup after losing to New Zealand in the semis and lost to the Kiwis again in the World Test Championship Final 2021.
These defeats led to severe criticism and the calls for him to step aside emerged viciously. Resultantly, Kohli stepped down from T20I and Test captaincy while he was removed from the ODI captaincy. However, this did not change the results for India as they got knocked out of the 2022 T20 World Cup after losing to England in the semifinals by ten wickets under Rohit Sharma.
Now, Kohli has spoken about all the criticism around him for not being able to win an ICC trophy. The batting maestro said that he was considered a failed captain despite winning five Test maces and leading the team to knockouts of every ICC tournament. Kohli then said that he never judged himself from that perspective as he intended to bring a cultural change he achieved during his tenure as captain.
“Look, you play to win tournaments. I captained in Champions Trophy in 2017 (reached the final), the 2019 World Cup (reached the semifinal), I captained in World Test Championship (reached the final), and T20 World Cup in 2021 (failed to qualify for the knockouts). After three (four) ICC tournaments, I was considered as a failed captain,” said Kohli on an RCB Podcast.
“I never judged myself from that point of view; what we ended up achieving as a team and as a cultural change that always going to be a matter of pride for me. A tournament happens for a certain period of time but a culture happens over a long period of time and for that, you need consistency for that you need more characters than just winning a tournament,” he said.
“I won a World Cup as a player. I won the Champions Trophy as a player. I have been part of the team that has won five Test maces. If you look at that point of view there have been people, who have never won a World Cup,” he added.