Virat Kohli captained the Indian ODI and Test side for 5 and 7 years respectively. His winning percentage and his own batting form over that period are lauded by the cricketing greats. However, now that Sharma is in charge of captaincy, Kohli needs to hand over everything to him, feels Ponting.
“Virat has to explain to the incoming captain what he’s going to do. The way I tried to handle it is I said ‘I’m just another member of the team. It’s not my team anymore. My fingerprints are not on this team’. You have to hand everything over, you have to let go of everything that you thought and felt as a leader,” said Ponting in conversation with ICC Review, a program launched by ICC.
Kohli had a tumultuous couple of months. The captain earlier decided to relinquish the T20 captaincy. Then there was the captain debacle where he spoke about BCCI did not requested him to stay on the captaincy as claimed by Ganguly to a leading publication.
After the loss of the SA series, Kohli relinquished the test captaincy too and Ponting said that he was surprised as his conversation with the former captain in the first half of IPL 2021 indicated that Virat was contemplating about leaving the white-ball captaincy but wanted to continue test captaincy.
“He was talking then about stepping away from the white-ball stuff and about how passionate he was to continue on to be Test match captain.” Ponting revealed.
Kohli won 40 test matches out of 68 and was the most successful captain of India and Ponting believes that the records are staggering for India than it was for him when he was captain as India were not in top test teams when Kohli took over whereas Ponting had the advantage of getting the captaincy of a side which was already dominant in Test Cricket with the help of Mcgrath, Warne, Brett Lee, Langer, Hayden and Gilchrist.
“It’s probably more of a staggering achievement for India than it was for us,” Ponting said. “When I took over, I captained a side that had been dominant in world cricket for a long time. If you think about India before Virat, it was about winning a lot of games at home and not winning quite as many overseas,” said Ponting.