Was considered failed captain for not winning ICC title, says Kohli
NEW DELHI: Former India skipper Virat Kohli said that he was labelled a “failed captain” by a section of experts and fans for not winning an ICC trophy.
Under Kohli’s captaincy, India could not go all the way in the 2017 Champions Trophy, the 2019 World Cup, the 2021 World Test Championship final against New Zealand, besides suffering a premature exit from the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Kohli said that a lot was made out of the losses, given that he was part of the 2011 World Cup-winning side and the 2013 Champions Trophy-winning unit under MS Dhoni and also a member of the India team that bagged five Test maces.
Asked if he ever felt the pinch of not lifting an ICC trophy while leading the side, Kohli, speaking in Season 2 of the Royal Challengers Bangalore podcast, said: “Look, you play to win tournaments. A lot was made of it (not lifting an ICC trophy as skipper). I captained in the 2017 Champions Trophy, I captained the 2019 World Cup side, I captained India in the (inaugural) World Test Championship final.”
Kohli added: “So, after three ICC tournaments... we lost the last (2021) T20 World Cup. We did not qualify [for the semi-finals]. We reached the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy, semi-finals of the  World Cup, final of the [2021 World] Test Championship, and I was considered as a failed captain.”
Kohli said that Dhoni was the only cricketer who reached out to him when he was going through a lean patch. “He (Dhoni) reached out to me and you can rarely get in touch with him. So, for him to reach out to me, twice it [has] happened now. One of the things that he had mentioned in the message while reaching out to me was ‘when you are expected to be strong and looked at as a strong individual, people forget to ask how you are doing’.
“So, they (Dhoni’s words) hit home for me because I have always been looked at as someone who is very confident, mentally very strong, [someone] who can endure any circumstances and find a way and show us the way.
“Sometimes, what you realise is that at any given point of time in life as a human being, you need to take a couple of steps backwards, understand how you are doing, how your well-being is placed,” explained Kohli.
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