Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter AB de Villiers has said that Virat Kohli's decision to leave captaincy of the franchise is not selfish, rather it is exactly the opposite.
"I've been in the same boat before and I can relate to what he (Kohli) is feeling and what he's been through. So there's a mis-perception in my opinion when it comes to the public when they see people stepping down out of certain roles to let a bit of that workload go. Where they see it as being selfish, it is exactly the opposite. It is not being selfish. Because of him doing that (stepping down from captaincy) he can be a better version of himself," said De Villiers in a video posted on official YouTube channel of RCB.
"There can be a captain coming in with that same kind of energy that he's had for the last 7-8 years. I was in the same position, took quite a lot of criticism for letting some things go, where I felt I was actually doing the right thing for the team and not being selfish in the same process. Sometimes it can be a bit misleading and people see it as 'oh, he is now thinking about himself, he is protecting himself'. It is exactly the opposite actually," he added.
Virat Kohli's journey as skipper in the IPL came to an end on Monday as RCB suffered a four-wicket loss against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Eliminator. Sunil Narine's four-wicket haul and 26-run knock helped KKR defeat RCB.
Talking about his decision to leave captaincy, Kohli said: "There's one thing saying that when you're offered captaincy you don't want to take it because you want to look after your game. There's another thing saying that you've actually done it, proven yourself for 7-8 years and now it makes complete sense to step down. As I said, I didn't want to be operating at 80 per cent and be miserable in a team environment where I can't contribute my whole energy to the group very organically and honestly, and that's who I've always been."
"I didn't want to have a structure around me where I felt like I'm not able to be myself on the field because my job is firstly as a player to make sure I'm in the best frame of mind possible to be able to contribute to the team. Like AB said, it's not a selfish thing to do. Because what you actually want to do is to provide your best self out there for the team and potentially have another guy who has fresh energy, fresh set of ideas to carry that culture forward and you'll still continue to be the leader within the group like motivating the youngsters, doing the right thing for the team," he added.
Further talking about on the same topic, Virat said: "What is perceived on the outside and what the reality is two different things. Beyond a point you don't even want to think about what people are making out of your decisions because they have no idea what you're experiencing."
When the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 resumed, Kohli went on to announce that he would step down as the skipper of the franchise after the ongoing edition. Kohli had become the regular captain at Royal Challengers in 2013 and he has been a part of the franchise as a player since the inception of the IPL in 2008.
Under Virat Kohli, RCB had reached the finals of IPL in 2016 and it was in the same edition that Kohli registered the most number of runs by a batter in a single season.
However, after that RCB found the going tough and the side failed to reach the playoffs in three consecutive years and the jinx was finally broken in 2020. In the 140 matches he captained in IPL, Kohli won 66 and lost 70 while four were no results.
Kohli will also step down as Team India's T20I captain after the upcoming T20 World Cup.