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Ex-India Selector Backs Virat Kohli Over Split-captaincy Debate, Downplays IPL Record

Sarandeep Singh, who is also a former India cricketer, highlighted that Virat Kohli is one of the few players to average more than 50 across all formats. 

Virat Kohli

Amid the ongoing debate over split captaincy's proposition in Indian cricket, former selected Sarandeep Singh has thrown weight behind skipper Virat Kohli, despite his failure to clinch an ICC trophy in the recent past. Maintaining that Kohli has been performing well across formats, Singh pointed out that just because the RCB captain has not won an IPL, he should not be removed as the Team India skipper. Singh, who is also a former India cricketer, highlighted that Virat Kohli is one of the few players to average more than 50 across all formats. 

In an interview with news agency PTI, Sarandeep Singh said, "Spilt captaincy is needed when your captain is not performing but he (Kohli) is the only player to average more than 50 in all formats. If he isn’t performing in one format you can take the leadership pressure off him and give it to someone else." 

"Just because he has not won an IPL you can’t remove him from India captaincy. He is also the fittest player and captain. Rohit is there to lead the side in his absence but there is no reason to replace Virat,” Sarandeep Singh added.

The noise around split captaincy began after Ajinkya Rahane led the Indian squad to a remarkable victory to clinch the Border Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year in absence of Virat Kohli. On the other hand, it has also been argued that Kohli's deputy in the shorter formats - Rohit Sharma - should take over as captain of India in the limited-overs format to ease Kohli's burden. Sharma, who has an impeccable T20 record, has won the IPL title four times in its history, giving him an edge over Kohli, who is yet to lay his hands on the silverware. 

Talking of wins among Indians, Kohli is already the most successful Test captain. He has to 35 wins in 60* Test matches. He is followed by Dhoni, who captained the side to 27 wins. Sourav Ganguly (21) and Mohammed Azharuddin (14) are the other legends on the list. Kohli, who took over Test captaincy from Dhoni in 2014 and was handed over the limited-overs captaincy in 2017, and has emerged as one of the best captains in world cricket at present. He has so far captained India in 60 Tests, 45 T20Is and 95 ODIs. 

 

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