India ended their campaign on a winning note by beating Minos Namibia by nine wickets in their last Super 12 match courtesy of half-centuries from Rohit Sharma (56) and KL Rahul (54 not out).
“It’s a relief at first. Like I said, it’s an honor, but things have to be put in the right perspective,” Kohli said when asked about his passion for stepping down as T20 captain at the post-match presentation.
“This is the right time for me to handle the stress of my work. For six or seven years, whenever we’ve been on the field, intense cricket has been played and a lot has been taken from you.”
Kohli said it was “great fun” with the “great bunch” of players on the team.
“We performed really well as a team. I know we didn’t go very far in this World Cup, but we did have some good results in the T20s and enjoyed the game together.
“It’s a margin game, T20 cricket. You’re talking about two-over cricket with purpose in the first two matches and things could have been different. We weren’t as brave as I said. We’re not a team to make excuses. Toss.”
He thanked the outgoing head coach Ravi Shastri and other support staff for their contribution to Indian cricket.
“Thank you so much for all those people, they’ve done a great job keeping the group together all these years. The great environment around them, they were an extended part of our extended family.
“They have also contributed a lot to Indian cricket. Many thanks to all of them on behalf of all of us.”
Asked if he would continue to show the same intensity on the field as just a player, he said: “It will never change. If I can’t do it, I won’t play anymore. Even when I wasn’t the captain before. To see where the game is going. I was always interested.
“I’m not going to stand around and do nothing.”
On the rationale behind sending Suryakumar Yadav as the No. 3 batsman instead, Kohli said, “The Sun didn’t get much time, it was a T20 World Cup and I thought it might be a nice memory to bring him back.
“As a youngster you want to bring back some good memories from a World Cup.”