SA vs IND: Gautam Gambhir opines on Virat Kohli’s first ODI series as non-captain

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  • Gautam Gambhir shared his thoughts on Virat Kohli's role in the upcoming ODI series against South Africa.

  • This will be Kohli's first series since his removal from ODI captaincy.

SA vs IND: Gautam Gambhir opines on Virat Kohli’s first ODI series as non-captain
Gautam Gambhir on Virat Kohli (Image Source: Twitter)
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After the Test series, South Africa and India are gearing up to lock horns in the One-Day International (ODI) leg that starts from Wednesday (January 19) in Paarl.

The three-match ODI series will also be the first assignment of Virat Kohli since his removal from captaincy in the 50-over format in December last year. After Kohli decided to quit T20I leadership, the selectors appointed Rohit Sharma as a full-time white-ball captain.

However, Rohit won’t be available for the ODI series due to an injury, and hence KL Rahul will lead the 50-over Indian side against the Proteas.

But would there be any changes in Kohli’s approach as a player while playing under Rahul or Rohit? Well, former India opener Gautam Gambhir was asked the same question, and he reckoned that captaincy isn’t anyone’s birthright, so Kohli should focus on scoring more runs for the team.

Gambhir cited the example of ex-India skipper MS Dhoni, stating that the Ranchi-born also played under Kohli; therefore, he doesn’t see any issue here. Further, the cricketer-turned-politician also observed that when anyone dreams of playing for India, one doesn’t dream of becoming captain but of becoming a player and winning matches for the team.

“What new do you want to see? Captaincy is not anyone’s birthright. People like MS Dhoni have given the captaincy baton to Virat Kohli, he has played under Virat Kohli as well. He has won three ICC trophies and four IPL trophies as well,” said Gambhir while speaking on Star Sports‘ show ‘Game Plan’.

“I think Kohli should look to score runs, and that is more important. When you dream of playing for India, you don’t dream to become a captain. You dream of winning games for India, and nothing changes, except that you are not going out there to do the toss and set the field placement, but your energy and intensity should remain the same because it’s an honour playing for the country,” added Gambhir.

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