New Delhi: Star India batter Virat Kohli has opened up on his decision to step down as skipper of Royal Challengers Bangalore after 2021 season, saying he had no “belief” and his “tank was absolutely empty” towards the end of his IPL captaincy tenure.
RCB had a horror run in 2019 when they lost six games in a row to eventually finish at the bottom of the IPL table. They were wooden spooners in the 2017 edition as well.
Kohli quit as RCB captain after the 2021 season with South Africa’s Faf du Plessis taking over the reins.
“The time when my captaincy tenure was coming to an end here, I was left with no belief, to be very honest. I was gone, the tank was absolutely empty,” Kohli said during his motivational speech to the RCB women’s team ahead of their clash against UP Warriorz in the WPL on Wednesday.
“But that was my own perspective, that was me just an individual saying that I have seen so much of this, I can’t just manage it, handle it anymore.”
RCB hade made it to the playoffs in the 2020 edition for the first time since the 2016 season and also reached the knockouts in the next two editions.
“But the next season, new people came in, they had new ideas, and there was another opportunity. They were excited, maybe as an individual, I wasn’t that excited. But they created the energy and we reached the playoffs three years in a row,” Kohli said.
“Now we start every season with the excitement that was before and I feel excited now, the person who was not up to the mark. So it is a collective responsibility, if someone is feeling down as well, the others can pull them up.”
Kohli’s decision to quit RCB captaincy came after he had made up his mind to step down as India’s T20 skipper, following the 2021 T20 World Cup. He was later removed as ODI captain and soon after quit as Test captain as well.
The 34-year-old from Delhi said there have been phases in his career when he felt insecure and tried to save his reputation.
“…I have needed constant reminders, even from youngsters, because they have a fresh perspective. I have been under pressure because I have played for so long, I have been insecure, I have tried my performances, my reputation like ‘Oh I am Virat Kohli, I have to perform in every game. I can’t afford to get out’.
“But these youngsters come and tell me, ‘why didn’t you hit the ball?’ and I was like, ‘he is right’. I couldn’t think about it because I am so caught up with me, me, me and what I should do and how people are looking at me and all that stuff that I forgot how to play the game.”
Kohli recently cracked a superb 186 against Australia in the drawn fourth and final Test, ending a three-year wait to get to his 28th Test century.