Virat Kohli’s 11-season stint as their captain came to an end on Monday, after Royal Challengers Bangalore lost in the Eliminator against Kolkata Knight Riders. Earlier, he had also announced that he would step down as the T20 captain of the Indian team after the conclusion of the upcoming T20 World Cup. In a chat on his franchise’s official YouTube channel, Kohli explained the reasons behind his decision. De Villiers defended his Royal Challengers teammate (Virat), saying why it is not a ‘selfish’ decision to retire before the expectations of a fan, teammate or team management.
De Villiers said, ‘I think Virat’s performance as a captain has been incredible. It is a privilege for me to play under him. I have been a fan of his for the last few years, as he has held many positions in the Indian team and IPL over the years and he has been very effective in that. That’s why I have been his fan. I think this decision of his can relieve him of the pressure.
He said, ‘Virat always enjoys cricket in the IPL, because here one can have a little fun with a lot of international friends. He then goes on to captain the Indian team, where there is a lot of pressure. This has been the case for the last few years. It has nothing to do with their ability. We all know he has been incredible to us as captain. For RCB, he has always led the team from the front. He has scored a lot of runs. I am sad to see him go as captain. But I hope we stay together for a few more years in the team and win many trophies.
Defending Virat’s decision, de Villiers said, ‘I have been in such situations before and I can understand why he is feeling and what he is doing. So in my opinion it is a misconception to call this decision of Kohli selfish. Some players take decisions that reduce their workload a bit. People see it as being selfish but the truth is just the opposite. It’s not being selfish. Because of his decision, he can make himself a better player. I was in the same situation, I was also criticized a lot.