Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have appointed star batsman Virat Kohli as ODI, T20I captain.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 6, 2017
Kohli replaced former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who resigned from the post earlier this week.
The swashbuckling batsman, who has presided over an 18-match unbeaten run as Test captain, will first lead India in three one-day internationals starting from January 15 against England, before the sides play three T20 matches.
His first major assignment will come in June when he will lead India’s defence of the Champions Trophy and his appointment also means he should captain India in the 50 over World Cup final in England in 2019.
Dhoni, who led India to victory in the 2011 World Cup as well as the 2007 World T20 glory, kept his place in both 15-men squads, the Indian board’s chief selector M.S.K Prasad announced in a televised press conference.
Prasad told reporters that Kohli took part in the selection meeting which also decided on a surprise recall for the veteran batsman Yuvraj Singh.
“Virat was with us on Skype” for the selection meeting in Mumbai, said Prasad. “After discussing with him, this is the best possible team we have. It’s a fantastic team.”
The new 28-year-old skipper, whose nickname is ‘King Kohli’, is the world’s number one-ranked batsman in the T20 format, and is also second in the rankings for ODI and Test formats.
Since taking over from Dhoni as Test skipper in early 2015, Kohli has been in scintillating form, leading India to five successive series victories and scoring three double centuries in the last six months.
He was also the player of the tournament in last year’s World T20 and smashed the record for most runs in the last edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
After making his debut in 2008, Kohli has scored 7,570 runs in 176 ODIs, including 26 hundreds and 38 half-centuries, at an average of 52.94, whereas he also averages over 57 in T20 internationals.
While India have built up a big lead over their rivals at the top of the Test rankings, they are second in the table in ODI cricket and third in the T20 format.
Former skipper Dhoni, who is being renowned as one of the most successful captains in the history of the game, came under pressure after his team lost to the West Indies in the semi-finals of last year’s World T20, despite being overwhelming favourites as hosts of the tournament.
India also went out of the 2015 World Cup at the semi-final stage to the eventual winners Australia.
Kohli has nevertheless remained steadfastly loyal to Dhoni, who was his captain when he was part of the Indian team which won the 2011 World Cup on home soil.
Writing on Twitter shortly before Friday’s announcement, Kohli said:
Thanks for always being the leader a youngster wants to have around him. You'll always be my captain @msdhoni Bhai 😊😊
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 6, 2017
Prasad said that Dhoni had agreed to captain an India A side which would play a warm-up match against England on January 10 in Mumbai.
“I think he is the best guy to look after the youngsters. We know what Mahi (Dhoni) is all about,” Prasad said. “It’s not just about whether he has stepped down or anything, but he is a captain by nature who leads from the front.”
Virat Kohli (captain), Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bhumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav.
Virat Kohli (captain), Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Rishabh Pant, Manish Pandey, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mandeep Singh.
Courtesy : Express Tribune