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Moody proposes split captaincy to preserve Virat Kohli’s longevity

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Tom Moody thinks India can employ the split-captaincy option to try and prolong the career of Virat Kohli, who currently handles the pressure of leading the team in all three formats.

Kohli has captained India in 181 matches across all three formats, taking up the responsibility on a full-time basis in Tests after MS Dhoni’s retirement in 2014, and in white-ball cricket in 2017.

So far, Kohli has not shown signs of slowing down and has only improved as a batsman with the added responsibility. Overall, he has scored 21,901 international runs at 56.15, with his numbers as a captain are even better – 11,426 runs at 63.83.

Moody, however, is of the opinion that relieving Kohli of captaincy in white-ball cricket might help ‘preserve his longevity’.

“On the [split] captaincy, it really depends,” Moody said while in conversation with Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz. “Like for England, Eoin Morgan is not a Test player, he has been, but he is not recognised as a Test player, he is a specialist white-ball cricketer. So it works for them pretty easily, it’s a natural transition.

“With India’s example, which is probably the most high profile example, the only reason I would prefer split captaincy there is purely to preserve the longevity of Virat Kohli. Virat Kohli is a superstar, we all know that. And he is an absolute delight to watch, to compete, as a captain and as a batsman.

“But if you took the white-ball captaincy away from him, for instance, the question and discussion should be can we have this special talent for longer? Because the role of the captain in three formats in any country is a significant role, but in India, it’s another league.

“It’s a completely different pressure. And I would be concerned that if Kohli maintains all the three captaincy roles, are we losing two-three years of international cricket from one of the game’s greatest-ever players?”

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