Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has blasted the BCCI for sacking Virat Kohli as India’s captain earlier this year following the Men in Blue’s disappointing T20 World Cup campaign. Two weeks ago, Team India was bulldozed by England in the T20 World Cup semifinals, handing them a stunning 10-wicket defeat in Adelaide before going on to beat Pakistan in the final to lift the iconic trophy in Melbourne.
Salman Butt pointed out this particular reason why the Indian Cricket Board removed Virat Kohli as the skipper at the start of 2022. However, despite the change in captain with Rohit Sharma taking over from Virat Kohli, the fortunes of the Indian cricket team didn’t change.
With their recent defeat in the T20 World Cup, the Indians have now extended their drought in ICC events to nine years. Their last ICC title came in 2013 when they won the Champions Trophy crown in England.
Salman Butt claimed that removing Virat Kohli from the captaincy of India was a big mistake, and the BCCI would have done well to keep him there.
“What was the reason for not having an out-and-out fast bowler for the T20 World Cup, when you are playing in Australia, where you have to play in Perth and Melbourne. Even when they sacked Kohli, they didn’t have a valid reason. They said that he did not win an ICC trophy. How many captains have won an ICC trophy? A lot of players finish their career despite not winning a trophy. So, did they win a trophy now? He was a quality captain. He wasn’t the only reason why they failed to win a trophy. The team hasn’t improved that much either since then,” Salman Butt said on his YouTube channel.
“If it was all about winning, and you needed a winning captain, it’s not like MS Dhoni couldn’t have played in T20Is. He is still fit. When he was there as a mentor during the T20 World Cup in UAE, only Kohli was as at fit as him. Visibly, no one looked fitter than him. I don’t know what was the planning behind it. T20 cricket is being played so frequently. There’s a World Cup in every two years, and there are franchise leagues as well. When you have someone who is fit, performing and ready to go, and especially when the player can lead the team tactically, then why not (play him),” Salman Butt added.
“Virat Kohli was doing a great job, it was unfortunate that he did not win an ICC title. But the think-tank could have thought about what were the reasons for not winning? It was not like if you remove Virat Kohli, everything will be taken care of. The drastic change resulted in Virat Kohli’s poor form, I am sure he would have suffered mentally. The rest of the guys have thought that if such a thing can happen to that person who has performed, so what will happen with us. Then the rest of the guys also get insecure about their spot within the team,” Salman Butt concluded.
Virat Kohli was recently in the news for his viral post on legendary India captain MS Dhoni.
On Monday, Virat Kohli put up a post on Instagram about how MS Dhoni is “everywhere”.
Virat Kohli shared a photo of a water bottle that had MS Dhoni’s picture used for promotional purposes before writing on the popular photo and video-sharing platform, “He’s everywhere. Even on the water bottle.”
The two former India captains share a great camaraderie. Virat Kohli in particular has been quite vocal about his admiration, love, and respect for the two-time World Cup-winning skipper.
Earlier this year, when Virat Kohli was going through a rough patch with the bat, he disclosed that MS Dhoni was the only cricketer to send him a message of support after he stepped down as captain of the Indian Test team. Subsequently, Virat Kohli revealed that his conversation with MS Dhoni motivated him to work on his game.
“The only person who has genuinely reached out to me has been MS Dhoni. And for me that is such a blessing to know that I could have such a strong bond and such a strong relationship with someone who is such a senior to me where things are, it is a friendship which is based on a lot of mutual respect,” Virat Kohli said on RCB Podcast.
“It is one of the things he mentioned in the same message reaching out to me, that when you are expected to be strong and looked at as strong individual, people forget to ask how are you doing? So, it hit home to me, it was like this is it,” he added.
Recently former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis who captained Virat Kohli’s in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Royal Challengers Bangalore after the latter stepped down from the post, said that the Indian cricketer doesn’t have any kind of ego that has been portrayed in the media for so long. Rather Virat Kohli is a “family guy” who has an undying passion and love for cricket.
“He’s a much bigger offer than me. You don’t try and compete. The ego is the thing where peacocks generally clash. Then like the feathers come out and you want to see who has got the shiniest in the room. Luckily, I get that about people and relationships. I don’t try and outshine someone else in the dressing room. I try and build a relationship. With Virat, that was exactly my point of entry,” Faf du Plessis said in an interaction with the Grade Cricketer’s YouTube channel.
“I had played against him for so long. He is one of the most competitive guys in the world of cricket to play against. You sit there and you go – how does this guy have so much energy? Every single time a wicket falls, doesn’t matter if it’s a No.11 or an opening batter, his passion for celebration is like you just have to go, ‘I’ll take my hats off to you’. He’s superhuman,” Faf du Plessis added.
“When you play with him, you see there is the other side, which is this caring guy that just wants to play cricket, and actually a really family guy. He’s amazing,” Faf du Plessis concluded.