New Delhi [India], January 16 (ANI): Former Indian pacer Madan Lal on Sunday said that he did not want Virat Kohli to quit Test captaincy as he had built this current Indian team.
Madan Lal's comments came a day after Kohli shocked the world by announcing his decision to step down as India's Test captain.
"These decisions are personal decisions whatever he has taken but his achievements will always be with him because he is the most successful captain-- the fourth most successful in the world. But I am a little surprised because it did not seem that he was going to quit captaincy the way he was captaining. He was a passionate captain, a captain who always wants to win. So, when we see such things on TV, then we feel that he is enjoying Test captaincy but suddenly he has dropped a bomb and has taken everyone by surprise," Lal told ANI.
"I wanted him to captain India more because this Virat Kohli has built this Indian team. We became number one in Test cricket. He has also built a strong unit of pace bowlers. Today India's pace battery is world-renowned and it has happened because of his achievements. When you win Test matches, then it reflects on ODIs and T20Is. So, this guy has done everything. As a captain, he found out the weak points and strengthened them to make India a strong team. So, the entire credit goes to Virat Kohli," he added.
Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40). Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Kohli as captain in Test cricket.
Last year, Kohli had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI skipper after the selectors wanted to have just one captain for the white-ball formats.
"For me, it is very saddening. He should have continued as Test captain for 2-3 years more. If you see his performance, then it is already there. It is wrong when people say he has not scored a hundred for so many years because he is still contributing. It is not that he is not contributing. You can't score a century every time. We expect in India that a batter will go and score a century every day which is not possible in cricket. His performances are there in winning causes. The best thing I like about him is his passion for the game," said Lal.
"Earlier it was said that Indian players are very quiet but he came as a captain and showed it to the world that even we can win and we are passionate about winning the game. It was indeed a shock for me and I wish he could have captained India more for 1-2 years more. I think the biggest reason to quit captaincy was when he said that he wants to continue as 50 over and Test match captain and then he was removed from 50 over then he was not happy about it. This is my personal opinion and maybe he was not too happy about it but as a player, I don't think it will affect his game as he is the number one batter in the world," he added.
Further talking about Virat's decision, Lal said: "He knows what his job is because in cricket if you keep performing then you will keep playing. So, he is aware of his responsibilities. India's next Test captain should either be Rohit Sharma or KL Rahul. I am not in favour of Rishabh Pant. He needs to be groomed and he will have more experience in coming years till the time Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are playing."Kohli had first led the side in Test cricket in 2014 against Australia. His last game as captain was the Cape Town Test in South Africa, which India lost by seven wickets. Filling the shoes of MS Dhoni was not going to be easy, but Kohli took leadership by storm, and quickly, he cemented himself as one of the best thinkers the country has seen in Test cricket.
The leadership also brought out the best in Kohli and it saw the batter registering seven double-centuries in the longest format of the game. Kohli also holds the record for scoring most Test centuries (20) as India captain. (ANI)